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Ultrasounds Specialist

South Mountain Cardiology

Cardiology located in Tempe, AZ

When it comes to diagnosing problems in your blood vessels and heart, ultrasound is one of the most essential imaging procedures. Ultrasounds allow Nadeem Husain, MD, FACC, Patti Cox, MSN, ARNP, and Kim Munneke, MSN, FNP-C, at South Mountain Cardiology to clearly see the flow of blood and blockages in arteries and veins, as well as muscle and valve movement in your heart. South Mountain Cardiology offers the convenience of in-office vascular ultrasounds. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Tempe, Arizona, or book an appointment online today.

Ultrasounds Q & A

What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a type of diagnostic imaging that produces detailed pictures of the soft tissues inside your body. Since high-frequency sound waves create the images, there’s no radiation exposure. As a result, ultrasound is a safe procedure with no known side effects.

During an ultrasound procedure, your provider uses a device called a transducer. The transducer sends sound waves into your body, where they bounce off internal structures and return to the transducer. Then the transducer sends the information to a computer that translates the sound waves into images.

A conventional ultrasound shows the structure of your blood vessels and organs. Doppler ultrasound shows blood flow, and color Doppler maps the blood vessels. A duplex ultrasound combines the different techniques.

What conditions does a vascular ultrasound diagnose?

Vascular ultrasounds reveal the amount and speed of blood flowing through your arteries and veins. The images also show the size and shape of blood vessels, fatty plaque in arteries, weak valves in veins, and blood clots in veins and arteries.

The information allows your provider at South Mountain Cardiology to diagnose conditions such as:

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Peripheral venous disease
  • Venous blood clots
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Aortic aneurysms

Your provider also uses ultrasound to monitor changes in aneurysms and blood vessel blockages.

What type of ultrasound might I need?

South Mountain Cardiology offers the following ultrasounds:

Lower extremity Doppler ultrasounds

This ultrasound finds blockages and other problems in the arteries and veins in your legs. You may need a lower extremity ultrasound to diagnose the cause of leg pain, hip pain, lower leg and foot ulcers, and skin changes in your lower leg.

Carotid artery Doppler ultrasound

Your carotid arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your brain. A carotid ultrasound finds blocked arteries that put you at risk of having a stroke.

Abdominal vascular ultrasound

Your provider does an abdominal vascular ultrasound to evaluate your aorta for aneurysms. The aorta, the largest artery in your body, runs from your heart down through the center of your chest and abdomen. 

Renal artery Doppler ultrasound

This ultrasound finds problems in the renal arteries, which carry blood to your kidneys. Blocked renal arteries lead to kidney failure and high blood pressure.

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound image of your heart. In addition to fatty plaque and blood clots, these images show problems such as:

  • Fluid buildup
  • Inflammation
  • Chamber size
  • Muscle thickness
  • Muscle damage
  • Muscle contractions
  • Valve function

Echocardiograms enable the diagnosis of a wide range of heart problems, from congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease to leaky valves and cardiomyopathy.

If you need ultrasound imaging of your blood vessels or heart, call South Mountain Cardiology or book an appointment online today.