Carotid Doppler Ultrasound

  • A carotid ultrasound is a non-invasive test that uses soundwaves (called Doppler) to listen to the flow of blood and ultrasound waves to visualize the arteries of the head and neck. These arteries supply your brain with blood and oxygen.

    This procedure is performed on the outside of your body and does not require the use of needles, catheters, or dye. To begin the test, ultrasound gel is applied to your neck. The technologist then moves an ultrasound probe along the outside of your neck to check your carotid arteries for plaque formation. Plaque forms in the arteries due to the build-up of fatty substances. These deposits cause the arteries to become narrowed, decreasing the amount of blood flow through the artery. The ultrasound takes 30-45 minutes. The technologist will be able to listen to, as well as visualize, the artery to see if a blockage is present. A doctor will review your test and discuss the results with you on your return visit.