Carotid Doppler Ultrasound

Carotid Doppler Ultrasound

What is Carotid Doppler Ultrasound?

Carotid arteries carry blood from the heart to the brain. Carotid Doppler Ultrasound is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to look for any blockages in the carotid arteries and examine blood flow. It is a painless ultrasound test that lets physicians determine your risk of stroke or narrowed arteries.

Carotid Doppler Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of blood flow through the carotid arteries. It's a type of imaging that uses a handheld device called a transducer, which transmits sound waves through the water-soluble gel into your body to create an image. The images show the blood flow, enabling the physicians to find blocked areas in the arteries.

Carotid arteries are present on both sides of your neck. If you have any stroke or coronary artery disease symptoms, your physicians may advise you to take the test to determine the treatment.

Why is a Carotid Doppler Ultrasound performed?

If you have plaque buildup or other substances in your carotid arteries, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound test. An ultrasound is used to look at the condition of your carotid arteries. It will help you see how well your blood vessels are functioning and how much blood flows through them.

A few other risk factors that may require a Carotid Doppler Ultrasound are:

  • High cholesterol

  • Obesity

  • History of heart disease or stroke

  • Coronary artery disease

What are the risks involved?

The Carotid Doppler Ultrasound test is painless, simple, and quick. A warm gel is applied to either of your carotid arteries, and a transducer emits ultrasound waves picked up by the Doppler machine. You will not feel discomfort as it moves back and forth to get the desired images.

What are the necessary preparations for the test?

Some of the basic preparation needs that your physician will suggest are:

  • Avoid smoking or drinking caffeine 2 hours before the test

  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing (preferably open-neck top)

  • Avoid jewelry in the area of examination

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