Carotid Arterial Duplex Ultrasound (or Carotid Doppler Ultrasound)
A carotid Doppler ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging test that uses ultrasound to examine the carotid arteries located in the neck. The duration of the test is 30 minutes. This test can show narrowing or possible blockages due to plaque build-up in the arteries which increases the risk of stroke. The results can help your doctor determine a treatment to lower your stroke risk. Wear a comfortable shirt with no collar or an open collar. Please don’t wear a necklace or dangling earrings in order to provide area in neck for imaging. A carotid ultrasound usually takes about 30 minutes. During the procedure, you’ll likely lie on your back during the ultrasound. The sonographer may position your head to better access the side of your neck with suitable pillow for extension. Warm gel will then be applied to your skin above the site of each carotid artery. The gel helps transmit the ultrasound waves back and forth. The sonographer then gently presses the transducer against the side of your neck. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. If you do, tell the sonographer. The sonographer will explain to you that you might hear some noise occasionally which is the Doppler ultrasound. Doppler is a physics term that allows the blood flow to be seen in colour and measured quantitatively. If your doctor ordered the carotid ultrasound as a follow-up to a surgical procedure, your doctor can explain whether the treatment is working, and whether you’ll need additional treatment or follow-up exams.