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Vascular Ultrasound

The vascular laboratory of the Yakima Heart Center was founded in 2004 and was accredited in Vascular Testing in 2010 by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC), a national commission offering accreditation for each of the testing areas that a vascular laboratory performs. We are accredited in extracranial cerebrovascular, peripheral venous, peripheral arterial and visceral vascular testing.

The vascular department is directed by Victor V. Sharpe M.D., F.A.C.P. and Huong Johnston, RVT.

Vascular Testing Order Form - PDF


Intersocietal Accreditation Commission Vascular Ultrasound

Vascular Ultrasound

More About Vascular Ultrasound

What is Vascular Disease?

The word vascular refers to our body's circulatory system — the blood vessels which carry blood from the heart to the body's organs (the arteries) and from the organs back to the heart (the veins).

Vascular disease refers to the unhealthy changes which occur in our blood vessels. There are many different causes and risk factors for vascular disease, including plaque build-up in the arteries, aneurysms, varicose veins and blood clots in the veins. Examples of risk factors include, but not limited to: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cigarette smoking and family history.

What is Vascular Ultrasound?

In vascular ultrasound, an ultrasound machine uses high frequency sound to take images of the arteries and veins of your body. Vascular ultrasound can also be known as a Doppler or duplex study. For example, if your physician wants to make sure that you do not have a blood clot in your leg, he or she might order a venous duplex or venous Doppler examination.

Vascular ultrasound helps physicians diagnose a variety of conditions related to cardiovascular disease, disorders of the heart and blood vessels. 

Advantages of Ultrasound
  • Non-invasive
  • Safe
  • Cost-effective
  • Provides objective and reliable information
  • Provides physicians with valuable information for treatment
When Vascular Ultrasound is performed
  • Initial diagnostic evaluation of vascular disease
  • Follow up to assess disease progression
  • To track response to therapies (surgery, stent or other intervention)
  • Minimally invasive approaches for the treatment of certain types of vascular problems, including  treatment of pseudoaneurysms
Services Provided

We offer many types of testing services using ultrasound imaging, Doppler flow evaluation and physiologic testing. Each patient is individually evaluated with the specific type of exam that best answers the ordering physician’s question. The following are some of the studies that we perform:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm endograft/repair
  • Bypass graft evaluation
  • Carotid artery (cerebrovascular)
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Lower extremity physiologic testing (peripheral arterial disease, or PAD)
  • Peripheral arterial duplex scanning
  • Pseudoaneurysm evaluation and treatment
  • Renal artery duplex scanning
  • Treadmill exercise testing (claudication)
  • Vein mapping
  • Venous insufficiency (varicose veins)
What to Expect

Vascular ultrasound procedures are noninvasive, meaning they do not require the use of needles, dyes, radiation or anesthesia and are, therefore, relatively painless and harmless.

Most exams are performed lying down on an exam bed. If you have any issues transferring onto an exam bed or laying down flat, please contact our vascular department to discuss options.

Exam times may vary based on the physician’s requested exam. Exam times may vary from one hour to three hours. An estimated duration of the exam will be given to you when scheduling the test or it will be written on your reminder slip.

How do I prepare for the test?


  • Wear loose clothing – try not to wear turtlenecks
  • Some exams will require removal of jewelry
  • Some exams will require walking on treadmills and exercising. Bring your asthma inhalers, nitroglycerin or any other medication that you may need in emergencies.


If you are having one of these exams, you must also follow the fasting instructions:

  • Aorto-Iliac Abdominal Ultrasound- AOIL (Main arteries in your abdomen)
  • Renal Artery Ultrasound- RAE (Arteries to your kidneys)
  • Mesenteric Ultrasounds- MAE (Arteries to your bowel)


  • Please bring your own interpreter over the age of 18.
  • If you are not able to provide an interpreter, please call us and we will arrange for one.
Fasting Instructions

1.)  The day before the test:

  • Breakfast- Normal meal
  • Lunch- Normal meal
  • Dinner- Only clear liquids- broth or Jello, water only. No soda pop or carbonated drinks, no chewing gum or smoking.
  • Take 2 over-the-counter Gas-X pills/tablets
  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight

2.) The day of the test:

  • No eating, drinking before the exam*
  • Take 2 Gas-X pills/tablet in the morning
  • No A.M. medication
  • Bring all your medication with you
  • If you are a diabetic and cannot fast, please take glucose tablets or eat a small meal to maintain blood sugars.
  • If lightheadedness or other complications occur during the fasting procedures, go ahead and eat a small meal and call us ASAP.
How do I get the results?

Your physician that ordered the exam and your primary care physician will receive a copy of the report within a few days. If there are critical findings that will need immediate attention, your physician will be notified as soon as possible. If you do not have a follow-up appointment for the results or do not hear from your doctor within a week, you may call us at 509-248-7715 and ask for the results of your tests.

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406 South 30th Avenue Suite 101
Yakima, WA 98902
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Phone: 509.248.7715
Fax: 509.453.4319
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