Carotid Doppler Ultrasound

What is a Carotid Doppler Ultrasound?

A carotid doppler ultrasound is a diagnostic exam using high frequency sound waves to study the blood flow in the carotid vessels.  Using ultrasound, the Technologist can visualize your blood vessels and flow of blood to check for any plaque build up or clot formation. Ultrasound is safe and does not involve the use of any injections or radiation.

How is the examination performed?

A Registered Ultrasound Technologist will perform your examination and can answer any questions you may have.  A carotid doppler ultrasound is done by placing a small amount of warm ultrasound gel on your neck and by pressing a small probe or transducer over the area to be imaged.

Who is a candidate for a Carotid Doppler Ultrasound?

A carotid doppler ultrasound can sometimes be ordered for patients that are at stroke risk, to look for carotid stenosis, those with a family history of stroke or heart disease, elevated blood cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, or carotid bruit (an abnormal sound in the neck).

Will I need to prepare for the exam?

You will be asked to lie down on your back. The Technologist will place some warm gel on you and begin pressing the transducer or probe into your neck. A series of images will be taken that last about 30 minutes. Following your images, the Technologist will  give you a towel to wipe off the gel and you are done.

What happens next?

The Technologist will analyze your images and send them to the Radiologist’s computer for interpretation.

The Radiologist, a State of New Mexico licensed and board certified Physician in radiology interpretation, will read your images. A report will be recorded and transcribed then sent to your Physician who will explain the results to you.