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Vascular Surgeons Are Expert At Diagnosis

Your vascular physicians may be known primarily as surgeons, but a significant portion of Dr. Tanquilut, Dr. Pradhan and Dr. Coffey’s work is in screening for and diagnosing vascular disease. Your primary care physician may refer you to Vascular Specialists for many reasons besides a surgical or minimally invasive intervention. 

Here, Dr. Tanquilut explains three common diagnostic tests; why your primary care physician may order them, what happens during the test and what your medical professionals are looking for in the results. 

Why do I need a carotid ultrasound?

You may need an ultrasound of the carotid arteries in your neck if you are experiencing dizziness or confusion, blurry vision or loss of vision, headaches, weakness, tingling or numbness in your face, arm or leg, or difficulty speaking. 

Your Vascular Specialist provider will perform a non-invasive, painless and quick ultrasound, applying the device’s wand to your neck. Your provider will then capture images of your arteries.

A carotid ultrasound may show blockages or narrowing in these arteries which is caused by a build-up of plaque.

Why do I need an angiogram?

Your doctor may order an angiogram if you’re experiencing pain in your chest (angina), or jaw, neck or arm. 

With Vascular Specialists, you’ll be sedated, and a catheter will be inserted, usually in your groin. A dye is then injected which helps us examine your arteries on an X-ray. This test is minimally invasive.

An angiogram may show narrowing or blockages of your arteries. We may perform an angioplasty at the same time, compressing the plaque to the sides of your blood vessel and somtimes, inserting a stent to keep the artery open. 

Why do I need an ankle-brachial index?

When you are experiencing leg pain, especially pain that increases while walking and subsides when resting (claudication). 

We’ll conduct an ankle-brachial index by placing a blood pressure cuff on your arm and on your ankle to compare the two readings. This is a non-invasive, quick screening. 

After we’ve calculated your measurements, we can determine if you have peripheral artery disease, or narrowed or blocked arteries in your legs. 

At Vascular Specialists, surgery is only part of our story. Our providers are also here to perform screenings that will diagnose - or rule out - vascular disease in your body. When you have symptoms of vascular disease, call our office at 815-824-4406. We will be happy to help!

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