Carotid Doppler/Duplex

What is a Carotid Doppler/Duplex?

Doppler ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to create images and sounds of blood flow. This test can detect narrow or blocked arteries. This test will be done on the neck area starting from the base of the neck up to the chin level. A held hand probe placed against the skin emits sound waves. The sound bounces off the moving blood and echo back to the probe. The echo is translated into an image that appears on a screen.

Before Your Carotid Duplex

No special preparations are necessary. You may eat and go about your normal activities.

What to Expect During the Test

You may be asked to put on a hospital gown. You will have to lie on a hospital bed or exam table and your head will be turned to the side. To improve the quality of the pictures, a colorless gel is applied to the neck area. This may feel cool and moist, but the gel will be wiped off at the end of the exam. The sonographer will then lightly press a hand held transducer against one side of your neck then will repeat the same process on the other side.

The Carotid Exam

The carotid duplex exam has two parts which are done simultaneously. One part, the 2-D echo, produces images of the carotid artery and its branches. The second part of the test is known as the Doppler component. This produces the "whooshing" sounds that you will hear and helps the physician evaluate the blood flow through the arteries in the neck.

What are the Benefits?

A major benefit of the carotid exam is that it gives valuable information about structure and blood flow entering the brain.

Is the Procedure Painful or Dangerous?

This procedure is a safe, non-invasive exam. No x-rays or dyes are used.

There are no known risks from exposure to the ultrasound waves.

How Long Does the Test Take and Who Performs the Exam?

The complete exam requires approximately 45 minutes to one hour to perform.

The procedure is performed by specially-trained sonographers. The study is then reviewed by a vascular physician and a written evaluation is forwarded to your own doctor. The sonographer can answer questions about the test. However, only a doctor can explain the test results to you.

For more information, please call 516 705-1618.