Vascular studies are a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to assess the blood flow in arteries and veins.
What to Expect
A transducer (like a microphone) sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed on the skin at certain locations and angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the blood vessels, where the waves echo off of the blood cells. Blood pressure cuffs are inflated on the limb and blood pressure in the limb is measured using the Doppler transducer.
A carotid artery duplex scan is a type of vascular ultrasound study done to assess occlusion (blockage) or stenosis (narrowing) of the carotid arteries of the neck and/or the branches of the carotid artery.
Other procedures are done to assess blood flow in the abdominal aorta and lower limbs.