A carotid ultrasound is a diagnostic test that's used to evaluate the health and function of the carotid arteries, the arteries located on either side of your neck that supply the brain with oxygen-rich blood. During the test, a handheld device called a transducer is used to transmit sound waves through your neck to your arteries. When these waves hit the arteries, they bounce back and create images that can help the doctor determine if the arteries are narrowed by a buildup of a fatty deposit called plaque. Plaque buildup can prevent the flow of blood to the brain, significantly raising the risk of strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also called “mini-strokes.”
During the exam, you'll be in a darkened room so the images can be better viewed on the ultrasound monitor. A special gel will be placed on your neck to enable the transducer to slide smoothly across your skin. Both sides of your neck will be evaluated during the exam, which takes about 10 to 20 minutes to perform. No sedation is required and there is no pain. You'll be able to drive yourself home right after the evaluation and resume your normal activities.
Dr. Nanavati may order an ultrasound in patients who:
have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
have a personal or family history of stroke or TIAs
have sounds on a stethoscope examination of the carotids that could indicate narrowing of the arteries
No, ultrasound uses no radiation – just sound waves. It's safe, effective and noninvasive.
If you do not currently have medical insurance, no problem. If you have a diagnosis of heart disease or you think you may have heart disease, feel free to set up an introductory meeting. We have several heart care packages that allow you to receive continued Heart care with our Board Certified Cardiologist. After an initial evaluation, we can determine which package works best for your specific needs. Call us now. Don't wait for a heart attack!
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