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Doppler Ultrasound

Doppler ultrasound uses harmless sound waves to create a picture of your blood flow. This test can detect narrow or blocked arteries and blood clots in the veins.

Woman lying on table with one leg exposed. Health care provider is holding probe against skin of leg. Probe is attached to ultrasound machine and monitor.
You may feel pressure during the test. You may also hear a "whooshing" noise, which is the sound of your blood flowing.

Before Your Test

The test takes 30 to 60 minutes. Allow time to check in. When you arrive, you may be asked to undress from the waist down or to change into a gown.

Tell the sonographer

Tell your sonographer if:

  • You’ve had a stroke

  • You’ve had symptoms, such as short-term loss of strength, speech, or vision

During Your Test

The ultrasound may be done on your neck, leg or arm, depending on the area of your problem.

If the Test Is Done on Your Neck

  • You will lie on an exam table.

  • Your head will be turned to the side.

  • Nongreasy gel will be applied to your neck.

  • The sonographer will then press a hand-held transducer (probe) against your neck.

If the Test Is Done on Your Leg or Arm

  • Nongreasy gel will be applied to the skin over the area to be examined.

  • The probe will be pressed against the skin over the gel.

Your Test Results

Before leaving, you may need to wait briefly while your images are being reviewed. Your doctor will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up appointment or over the phone.

Your next appointment is:____________________

Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 12/29/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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