Carotid Ultrasound

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Carotid ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the carotid arteries, which are located on both sides of your neck. Carotid ultrasounds provide pictures of blood vessels containing blood that is being carried from the heart to the brain.

Need to Know

Nice to Know
  • You may be asked to change into a gown prior to the procedure
  • Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive, radiation-free diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of body tissues
  • There are no dietary restrictions for carotid ultrasounds
  • The exam is painless, non-invasive, and there are no known side effects
  • Ultrasound uses sound waves higher than human hearing can detect


Why is This Exam Done?

Carotid ultrasounds can be used to prevent strokes by detecting narrowing carotid arteries. Carotid ultrasounds are used to discover blood clots and detect blood flow obstructions. It can be used post-operatively to verify metal stents are correctly in place.

What Will Happen During the Exam?

Our experienced and caring sonographers who will be performing your exam are specifically accredited in Ultrasound, and have been trained on our state of the art equipment.

The ultrasound sonographer will request that you lay quietly during the test to help ensure that the images are clear. He or she will then apply a special gel directly on the skin above the area to be examined to increase sound wave conduction and reception. The sonographer will then press the transducer against your skin and may move the transducer back and forth to get clear images of the underlying blood vessels and structures.

The procedure typically lasts for 30 minutes, but the duration varies depending on the structure being examined.

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How Should I Prepare?

The physician will provide any special instructions regarding medications as needed. There are generally dietary restrictions, which your physician will explain prior to the procedure. Before the test is administered, you may be asked to change into a gown.

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What Are the Benefits and Risks?

The benefits of Carotid Ultrasound:

  • If narrowing of carotid arteries is detected early enough, action may be taken to prevent a stroke
  • Ultrasound images are shown in real-time as they happen
  • The structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels are able to be seen and recorded
  • The exam is painless and non-invasive
  • No ionizing radiation is used for this procedure

Risks you should be aware of:

  • There are no known risks for ultrasound
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Where Can I Get This Exam?

We perform carotid ultrasound at nine of our office locations:

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