Vascular ultrasound is a medical testing method used to evaluate your body's circulatory system. As a non-invasive technique, it's particularly useful for diagnosing problems with the veins and arteries in your legs. If you're beginning to notice the signs of peripheral arterial disease, you may stumble across some harmful myths. Here are some to be aware of.
Myth: Only Women Can Benefit
Some people believe that women are more likely to experience a form of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) called varicose veins. These are veins that become swollen and enlarged. They seem harmless at first but can lead to pain and swelling when untreated. However, it isn't the case that women experience varicose veins more than men. They're just more likely to see a specialist when they notice the initial signs. As a result, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing that it's mostly women who benefit from a vascular ultrasound to detect them. Whether you're male or female, it's worth seeking a diagnosis at the earliest opportunity.
Myth: Diagnosing PAD is Pointless
There was once a time when seeking treatment for PAD felt pointless. This was because the treatments used following an ultrasound involved techniques that didn't tackle the problem entirely. For example, surgeons would use vein stripping, which resulted in the issues returning. Today, modern approaches are more likely to prevent PAD from returning. As such, seeking a prompt diagnosis is important for protecting your future health. As some forms of PAD can result in clots that travel to other areas of your body, it's important to secure an intervention before your condition becomes dangerous.
Myth: Varicose Veins Are Cosmetic
In their smaller form, varicose veins may appear like a small cosmetic issue. Therefore, you might feel reluctant to attend a vascular ultrasound appointment. However, although they might seem small now, what you're seeing is only a snapshot of what's happening beneath. Your doctor can perform a full assessment of the issue using what they see during the ultrasound. From there, they'll recommend watchful waiting or an approach that removes them. As a small number of varicose veins can progress into leg ulcers, it's important to tackle them at an early opportunity. By taking action now, you protect your health for the future.
Finally, it's worth remembering that vascular ultrasound has its place in treating other parts of your body too. Your doctor can use it to identify circulatory problems elsewhere. As it's a minimally-invasive technique that's low-risk, it's a diagnostic approach worth taking.