A doppler ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to assess the heart’s functions and structures. The doppler ultrasound exam does not use any injections or radiation. Instead, a small microphone-like transducer is placed against the skin. As the doctor moves the device across the body, high-frequency sound waves, or echoes, are emitted from the internal tissues and organs. The echoes are converted into moving images on a screen that are analyzed by your doctor. There are no risks associated with this procedure.
A doppler ultrasound may be used to diagnose:
- Thrombosis. Thrombosis occurs when blood clots block your blood vessels.
- Venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency occurs when your leg veins don’t allow blood to flow back up to your heart, causing blood to pool in the veins in your legs.
- Arterial occlusion. Arterial occlusion is the blockage or narrowing of an artery in the legs (or rarely the arms), usually due to atherosclerosis and resulting in decreased blood flow.
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD occurs when a buildup of plaque deposits in the coronary artery causes the blood vessels to narrow or block entirely. PAD can cause severe leg pain and increase the patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Aneurysm. An aneurysm refers to a weakening of an artery wall that creates a bulge, or distention, of the artery. The rupture of an aneurysm can cause internal bleeding, which can be fatal.
- Carotid artery stenosis. Carotid disease occurs when the carotid arteries become narrowed as a result of atherosclerosis. This narrowing causes a reduction of oxygen to the brain that can lead to stroke if left untreated.
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At Baptist Health, we have an expert team of physicians, nurses, and technologists who are highly trained in ultrasound imaging. To learn more about the benefits of doppler ultrasound technology, request an appointment with us today.