Vascular Lab

Vascular Lab

At Midland Surgical Associates, we provide the broadest and most comprehensive non-invasive diagnostic vascular studies in West Texas. Our Registered Vascular Technologists on staff use the latest state-of-the-art equipment, all in the comfort of our own clinic.

If your physician has ordered tests to determine the health of your vascular system, we are happy to provide you with definitions of the various studies that we offer. These studies may include evaluation of the carotid arteries, abdominal aorta, or pelvic arteries, as well as both upper and lower extremity arteries.

In addition, we offer the most comprehensive noninvasive venous studies in the Permian Basin. Through these painless tests, we can determine whether you have peripheral arterial disease and assess your risk of heart disease and stroke.

If you are found to require vascular or endovascular surgery, we can often offer minimally invasive procedures in our own Angio Suite, taking care of all pre-op, surgical, and recovery aspects of your procedure. Our minimally invasive procedures can greatly improve blood flow and positively impact your quality of life.

Carotid Duplex

This study uses both B-mode ultrasound and Doppler interrogation to evaluate the carotid arteries in your neck. With this painless study, we can determine how fast the blood is flowing, whether there are any narrow points, and whether the blood supply is adequate to the brain. This gives us an idea as to your true stroke risk.

This study also evaluates the vertebral arteries, which supply blood to the back side of the brain, as well as the subclavian arteries, which supply blood to your arms.

The test is conducted as you lie down, and a gel is applied on your neck, similar to ultrasound performed on pregnant women. A transducer wand is then moved over the area, and the sound waves bounce off the blood vessels, forming images on a computer connected to the transducer. The Doppler interrogation is what determines the blood flow.

This study is usually ordered if you have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), if your carotid artery has been narrowed before, if you have had previous surgery on the carotid artery, or if an examination leads your doctor to suspect that the artery has narrowed. The more the artery has narrowed, the greater the risk of stroke.

Extremity (Upper or Lower) Arterial Duplex

This study uses both B-mode ultrasound and Doppler interrogation to determine whether the blood flow to your extremities is sufficient. As a result, we can discover whether you have enough blood traveling to your arms (upper extremity study) or your legs (lower extremity study).

The test is conducted as you lie down on your back, and a gel is applied on your leg. A transducer wand is then moved over the area, and the sound waves bounce off the blood vessels, forming images on a computer connected to the transducer. The Doppler interrogation is what determines the blood flow.

Your doctor may order this study for you if you have leg pain or other symptoms that could point to vascular abnormalities in the extremities.

Abdominal Aortic Duplex

Like the Extremity Arterial Duplex study, the Abdominal Aortic Duplex uses both B-mode ultrasound and Doppler interrogation to determine if there is adequate blood flow through the abdominal artery and the pelvic arteries. It also determines the size of the aorta and whether an aneurysm is present.

Similar to the other studies, the test is done as you lie down and is painless. A gel is applied to the area, and a transducer is used to create the images, while the Doppler determines the flow of blood.

Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)

This test measures the occlusion pressure of the arteries in your arm and leg.  Comparing them, we can predict the extent of your peripheral arterial disease (PAD) (narrowed or blocked arteries in the arms or legs). It is a pain-free test that inflates a blood pressure cuff on each arm and leg.

The comparison of the pressure in your arm and leg is calculated by dividing the systolic blood pressure at the ankle by the systolic blood pressure in the arm. If the pressure is lower in the leg, that indicates the presence of PAD.

Segmental Pressure Study (SPS)

Like the Ankle Brachial Index, this exam uses blood pressure cuffs to look at occlusion pressures at more than one place on your arm or leg. It also determines the flow to each toe. An SPS study gives us an idea about how severe your vascular disease may be and at which level.

You will lie down for this exam, and blood pressure cuffs will be wrapped around your arm or leg in several areas. A gel is then applied to your skin, and the Doppler sensor is used to determine the blood flow using ultrasound technology. The blood pressure cuffs are inflated twice. The second time will exert more pressure, temporarily cutting off blood circulation. The Doppler then determines when blood flow recurs.

Venous Duplex

Like the others, this study uses both B-mode ultrasound and Doppler interrogation to determine if blood flow in your veins is adequate. It also detects blood clots. 

This test also involves application of a gel as you lie down on your back, as well as the use of a transducer and Doppler to obtain images of the veins and determine blood flow. It is usually ordered for those who have leg pain, leg swelling, varicose veins, or shortness of breath.

Vein Mapping

This study also uses primarily B-mode ultrasound to determine the size of veins in your arms or legs. If you have a blocked vein, this test may be used to find an unblocked vein that can be used to bypass the blockage during surgery or provide hemodialysis access. This is called “mapping.”

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