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Vascular Testing and Monitoring

Vascular disease concerns don’t have to get in the way of your busy life. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health offers prompt, high-quality testing if you or your doctor suspect vascular disease. You receive appropriate studies and interpretations from trusted vascular specialists.

Vascular testing and monitoring: Why choose us?

We are one of Puget Sound’s few comprehensive vascular disease programs. Highly skilled specialists perform thorough vascular evaluations and make accurate diagnoses. Vascular testing is often part of this process. We offer every vascular study you may need for complete care close to home.

Highlights of our vascular testing program include: 

  • National recognition: Our vascular labs are accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). We meet or exceed national testing guidelines and continuously push ourselves to improve upon our success.
  • Expert interpretation: Our specialists maintain Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation® (RPVI®) designation. It signifies our expertise in vascular ultrasound – one of the most common and effective tests. We catch signs of vascular disease that can be easy to miss and correctly interpret what they mean for your health.
  • Quality testing: The technologists conducting vascular ultrasounds maintain Registered Vascular Technologist® (RVT®) designation. This credential is awarded to technologists who complete rigorous training and demonstrate superior skills.
  • Vascular monitoring: Early-stage vascular disease often requires monitoring. We test you periodically to determine whether the condition is progressing. These efforts help you receive timely care that lowers the risk of complications.
  • Coordination: If you need additional testing, we provide you with a referral and explain what to expect. You may need a CT scan from our imaging and radiology department or blood tests from one of our labs. Vascular doctors receive the results as soon as they are available, so your care keeps moving forward.

Noninvasive vascular testing

Vascular testing is typically noninvasive, which means it doesn’t involve any procedures, injections, radiation or injectable dyes. We conduct studies in dedicated vascular labs throughout the region. If technologists have questions about a physician order or uncover concerning results, a vascular surgeon is immediately available to them.

  • Ultrasound produces images of blood vessels using high-frequency sound waves. Technologists press a device called a transducer against your skin to view nearby arteries or veins. Standard ultrasound shows basic structures and symptoms, like widening, narrowing or bulging blood vessels (aneurysms). 

    Advanced options include: 

    • Doppler ultrasound records sound waves to capture precise blood speed and flow measurements. This test detects whether blood is flowing quicker or slower through areas of concern.
    • Duplex ultrasound combines standard ultrasound with Doppler for a more detailed analysis. We may perform this test to assess the severity of carotid artery disease or peripheral artery disease (PAD).
    • Vein mapping offers a more comprehensive view of arm or leg blood vessels. It helps us detect blockages and plan procedures to treat them.
    • Ankle-brachial index measures blood pressure in your arm and ankle. Blood pressure can be a sign of vascular disease if it’s lower in your ankle than in your arm.
    • Thoracic outlet testing assesses blood flow to your upper limbs as it passes through a small space under the clavicle. Lower-than-expected flow could indicate the presence of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Vascular screening

Vascular screening tests can detect some conditions before you experience symptoms. You may be eligible if you face a higher risk of carotid artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm or PAD. Get more information about vascular disease screenings we offer.

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