Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body’s major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.
Why should I do it?
Doppler ultrasound is a useful way of evaluating the body’s circulatory system. Vascular ultrasound is performed to:
- Locate and identify blockages (stenosis) and abnormalities like plaque or emboli and help plan for their effective treatment.
- Detect blood clots (deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the major veins of the legs or arms.
- Determine whether a patient is a good candidate for a procedure such as angioplasty.
- Evaluate the success of procedures that graft or bypass blood vessels.
- Determine if there is an enlarged artery (aneurysm).
- Evaluate varicose veins.
- Evaluate a connection between an artery and a vein which can be seen in congenital vascular malformations (arteriovenous malformations or fistula) and in dialysis fistula.
Any preparations needed?
- You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- You may need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined.
- In case of children, ultrasound examinations are very sensitive to motion, and an active or crying child will slow the examination process. To ensure a smooth experience, it would be beneficial to explain the procedure to the child prior to the exam.
- If your abdominal vessels are being examined, unless the examination is performed on an urgent basis, it is best to fast before the procedure.