Vessel mapping is a great way for physicians to locate the blood vessels throughout the body. When you go somewhere new, it is important to have a map, but maps are not just for traveling, it can be used for the body. There are several elements to the body. Just looking from the outside in, you cannot see your musculoskeletal system or cardiovascular system. Sometimes we need surgery on those areas and in order for the doctor to accurately treat your condition, it may be necessary for them to map out parts of the body. Vessel mapping is extremely helpful and allows doctors to place catheters in the right place and treat conditions particularly associated with the kidneys.
There are blood vessels throughout the body. There is not one part of the body that does not need blood. Even the bones need blood to thrive. Blood vessels are throughout the organs and also connects to the organs. Arteries are larger vessels that affect blood flow. If your arteries are blocked, your body suffers. Lack of blood flow also means lack of oxygen. When you suffer trauma, the blood vessels connected to the organs receive more blood. The extremities begin to lack blood. The body does what it has to in order to keep you alive. When talking about blood flow and blood vessels, most people focus on the heart. The kidneys are an area of focus as well.
The blood vessels are subject to a few malfunctions. When it comes to the kidneys, even minor issues can cause big problems. The major artery of the kidneys is the renal artery. The two major causes of renal artery problems are stenosis and atherosclerosis. Plaque tends to build up in the arteries. You may think it only affects the arteries of the heart, but it could also affect the renal arteries leading to the kidney. As blood flow is blocked, it increases blood pressure. You would think the lack of blood flow to the kidneys will do the opposite. Your kidneys register a lack of blood as low blood pressure. The main function of the kidneys is to filter the blood. Having a lot of bad stuff in the kidneys can cause kidney failure. When the kidneys fail, the blood is not filtered, and you may have to undergo dialysis.
Mapping the Vessels
Before you undergo any surgery, the doctor needs to have a plan for you. You should never go into surgery or have any devices put in and not know what is going on. Sometimes you have to go through diagnostic tests before surgery. Vessel mapping is a pre-op test necessary for any procedure that will be done on the blood vessels. You cannot see the blood vessels without special diagnostic tools. When there are problems in the blood vessels, it is important to see the vessels and have them mapped out so that the physician can see which vessel, in particular, is causing problems. There are multiple ways to map the vessels. Vessel mapping may also give doctors and surgeons a chance to see which vessels are good and suitable for certain procedures like dialysis. Ultrasounds are one of the best ways to map out the vessels. During an ultrasound, the doctor can see blood flow and get a good look at the blood vessels. During the test, you have to be compliant with the doctor’s request. Positioning is crucial. The procedure is painless, and there is no need for anesthesia or anything. The results are typically sent to your specialist. In the case of kidney problems, they are sent to a nephrologist.
Dialysis is the main reason for vessel mapping in the kidneys. For dialysis to happen, you need a good blood vessel. Vessel mapping can be done for other issues as well. Dialysis is a rough process. It is not easy on your body. When you have vessel mapping, the dialysis process is much easier. The doctor is not experimenting and trying to find the right blood vessel. The are three things a doctor is looking for when doing vessel mapping for dialysis. These three things include:
- Blood Vessel Diameter
- Blood Vessel Length
- Suitability of the Blood Vessel
The blood vessels in the body are different shapes and sizes. Using a vessel, that is too small can hinder dialysis and cause it not to be effective.
Vessel mapping may not be something you are familiar with, but it is a diagnostic tool that can help with treatment of certain vascular disorders. When you have kidney problems, it is typically a result of renal artery problems. Dialysis steps in when the kidneys are not functioning properly, and it helps to keep the blood clean. When the blood is clean, the body can function at its best.
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