Carotid ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses sound waves to diagnose carotid artery stenosis- a condition where narrowing of the carotid arteries (located on both sides of the neck) may partially or completely block blood flow from the heart to the neck and head. Ultrasound can also show internal motion such as blood flowing through veins and arteries. It provides information that will help the doctor determine the need for surgery or stenting to treat any significant blockage.
A doctor may ask to have this test done if a patient is having symptoms that could be related to a blockage within the Carotid arteries. Symptoms such as dizziness, “blackouts” or syncope, TIAs, or history of CVA (stroke) are common reasons for this test.
What to Expect: Upon arriving to the office you will change into a gown – undressing from the waist-up only – and lie down comfortably on an examination table. The technician will dim the lights, and sit on a stool by the head of the examination table. A gel is applied to the side(s) of the neck. The technician moves a hand-held wand in a circular motion, while pressing slightly on the neck, and images of the arteries are then viewed on a screen and recorded. The examination does not require any needles, dyes, or radiation. The test takes approximately 45 minutes from start to finish.
When all of the images are obtained, the patient may get dressed and drive home.
Preparation: Do not have caffeine or cigarettes one hour prior to the test. Take your usual medications. Eat your normal meals.
Locations: Currently, this test can be done in our Farmington Hills and Novi offices.