Vascular Lab - Introduction

Your physician has referred you to this laboratory because you have a symptom, or a combination of symptoms, which may suggest that you have an abnormality of the circulatory system of your body. The circulatory system is made up of the arteries and veins, the vessels that carry blood to and away from your heart.

Disease of the circulatory vessels may be of several types. You may have a buildup of cholesterol on the walls of the arteries. If the cholesterol deposits have been there for some time, they may have calcified; a condition often referred to as “hardening of the arteries”. Such deposits may interfere with blood flow or cause blockage of the artery. Occasionally a blood clot may form in an artery or vein, or the vessel may spasm, causing a decrease in blood flow. The tests you may receive can detect such problems and determine the severity of the disease process.

All of the tests performed in the Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory are noninvasive. What does this mean? Noninvasive tests require no invasion of the skin. Most of the test procedures use ultrasound to detect the presence of blood flow and/or create a picture of the blood vessel. Ultrasound is high frequency sound waves. The ultrasound does not change your blood vessels in any way. Sound waves are sent into the body and bounce back from the walls of the blood vessels and from the moving blood cells. The returning signals contain information which makes it possible to determine the presence of disease in your blood vessels. Other test procedures employ the use of blood pressure cuffs to measure the presence of blood flow within the arteries.

Test procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis. The tests are virtually painless, risk-free, and require a minimal amount of patient time and preparation. Test results may be reported immediately by telephone to your physician, or sent by mail within the week.

The Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory has been accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL) to perform peripheral arterial, venous, extracranial, intracranial, and visceral vascular testing. The ICAVL is a non-profit organization established with the support of eleven medical societies. The purpose of this organization is to provide a mechanism for accrediting facilities which perform comprehensive testing for vascular disease using noninvasive technology. Accreditation status signifies that this laboratory has been reviewed by an independent agency which recognizes the Laboratory’s commitment to quality testing for diagnosis of vascular disease and demonstrates the Laboratory’s concern for high quality patient care and attention to quality assurance. The Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory was among the first 330 vascular laboratories in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico to be granted accreditation by the ICAVL and is one of few accredited to provide visceral vascular test procedures. We are proud to display this symbol of accreditation.

Specially trained and certified (RVT) Vascular Technologists who use the most up-to-date techniques and equipment to aid your physician in the detection of disease perform the tests. The medical staff members are board certified vascular surgeons who have received training in the performance and interpretation of noninvasive vascular techniques.