What is a Carotid Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a safe and painless way of producing an image of the inside of the body using sound waves. Carotid ultrasound uses these sound waves to produce images of the carotid arteries in the neck which carries blood from the heart to the brain.
When performing a carotid ultrasound, a doppler will be used – this is a technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel. The doppler will pinpoint the location of a blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries, also known as stenosis, a condition that can lead to cause a stroke.
Why would I need a Carotid Ultrasound?
You may need a carotid ultrasound if you have a carotid bruit – an abnormal sound in the neck, heard with a stethoscope. You may also have one in preparation for coronary artery bypass surgery.
Other reasons to consider a carotid ultrasound include:
- High blood pressure
- Elevated blood cholesterol
- A family history of stroke or heart disease
- Recent history of stroke
Doppler ultrasound may also help to see:
- Blockages to blood flow including clots
- Narrowing vessels
- Tumour or congenial vascular malformations
- Reduced or absent blood flow to various organs
How to get a Carotid Ultrasound
Following on from a comprehensive review with your Consultant Cardiologist, if you are referred on for Carotid Ultrasound test, we will be referring you to one of our hand selected third party providers. The team at OneWelbeck Heart Health will give you all the information you will need to ensure you are looked after when you leave us.
You can read more about what to expect from a Carotid Ultrasound in this article.