We can diagnose or evaluate the following diseases and conditions.
Diseased or blocked arteries in arms or legs (peripheral vascular disease)
This means diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain. Often, peripheral vascular disease can be the narrowing of vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys.
We check the flow of blood through your arteries by looking at the pressure of fluid in your toe. Low pressure can cause problems like pain, ulcers or gangrene. We also check blood flow using a powerful scanning function on our ultrasound machines (these are known as Doppler scans and they work using sound waves).
These are abnormally enlarged, twisted surface veins in the legs. This enlargement happens when there’s a problem with the function of valves in the veins. Valves keep blood flowing towards the heart. When valves aren’t functioning properly, blood can pass under high pressure from the deep veins in the leg to the surface veins. Poorly functioning valves can also cause skin rashes and ulcers.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
This condition is a blood clot in one of the deep veins in the leg. It’s usually caused by a long period of immobility, which is why it’s a concern during international air travel. It can also occur after operations on the leg, such as a hip replacement. DVT is a concern because the clot can dislodge and go to the lung (known as a pulmonary embolism). If detected early, DVT is treatable and the risks can be reduced.
We test the blood flow through your veins including checking ulcers caused by varicose veins. An ulcer is a sore that doesn’t heal.
Carotid disease and strokes
Carotid disease occurs when the important arteries in your neck become blocked or narrowed. These arteries – the carotid arteries – carry blood to your brain. A stroke – when part of the brain is damaged by bleeding or lack of circulation – is one of the risks of carotid disease. We can evaluate the risk of stroke or whether you’ve had a stroke and check for some of the signs that you might be at risk of stroke. These signs are called transient ischemic attacks and symptoms include weakness, numbness, or a tingling sensation on one side of your body, being unable to control the movement of an arm or a leg, losing vision in one eye or being unable to speak clearly. If detected early, an operation can be performed or a stent placed in the artery to prevent a stroke. A stent is a metal cylinder which opens up the artery to maintain blood flow.
Aortic aneurysmal disease
We conduct screening and follow up for this disease which occurs in the aorta – the main artery in the abdomen. An aortic aneurysm occurs when part of the wall of the aorta weakens, becomes thinner and stretches like a balloon. This bulge is called an aneurysm. If the aneurysm continues to grow, the aortic wall might not be able to support the force of the blood flow. If this happens, the aneurysm is at risk of bursting, which causes serious internal bleeding. If detected early, the aneurysm can be treated.
Aorto-iliac occlusive disease
This occurs when your iliac arteries become blocked or narrowed. The major artery in the body – the aorta – carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It extends from the chest to the abdomen where it branches into the iliac arteries. Symptoms of aorto-iliac occlusive disease include leg and buttock pains and claudication – which means pain or cramps in your lower body when you walk.
We conduct screening for peripheral vascular occlusive disease and carotid atheroma among people who are at-risk – diabetics, smokers and patients with a history of vascular disease. Carotid atheroma is the blockage of the carotid artery with a fatty buildup.