What Does a Registered Vascular Technologist Do?

Registered vascular technologists (RVTs) use ultrasound to find clots and blockages. This helps vascular surgeons, radiologists, and cardiologists diagnose disorders of the vascular system that can, in some cases, lead to stroke or heart attack.

What is Vascular Ultrasound? 

RVTs use vascular sonography, otherwise known as vascular ultrasound, to help identify any blockages or blood clots in a patient’s arteries and veins. Ultrasound is safe and painless for the patient.  

During an ultrasound exam, lubricating gel and a small probe called a transducer are placed directly on the skin. The technologist is able to produce pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves rather than radiation, which is used in x-rays. 

Vascular ultrasound provides pictures of the body’s veins and arteries. A Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through arteries and veins in the body. Images are captured in real time, showing blood flowing through blood vessels.

Ultrasound may be used to identify:

  • plaque and blockages such as clots
  • narrowing vessels
  • tumors and malformations
  • reduced blood flow to organs
  • increased blood flow, which may be a sign of infection
  • enlarged artery (aneurysm) or varicose veins
  • if the patient is a good candidate for angioplasty or graft

After the RVT conducts the ultrasound(s), the images may be interpreted by a radiologist, vascular surgeon, and/or cardiologist. 

Certification Requirements

Medicare, many other insurance providers, and many employers, including Muskegon Surgical Associates, require that vascular technologists be certified. RVT certification requires passing a two-part exam after completing an approved cardiovascular or vascular technology program at an accredited college, and one year of full-time vascular tech experience. 

At Muskegon Surgical Associates, registered vascular technologists play a key role in identifying vascular conditions, from blockages to aneurysm, so our board-certified vascular surgeons can provide the most appropriate course of care. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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