WHAT IS A CAROTID ULTRASOUND?

A carotid ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to examine blood flow through the carotid arteries. This allows physicians to determine if you have blocked or narrowed carotid arteries, which can increase your risk of stroke.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

An ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the body’s soft tissues. Because ultrasounds can see inside the body in real time, it allows doctors to determine how effectively blood is flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasounds are totally painless and do not use radiation. A carotid ultrasound only takes about 30 minutes, and you can resume your normal activities immediately after the exam.

WHY A CAROTID ULTRASOUND?

If you are at risk for a stroke and/or have transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), your doctor may recommend a carotid ultrasound. Some risk factors for stroke include:

High blood pressure
Diabetes
High cholesterol
Family history of stroke/heart disease
Recent transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke
Coronary artery disease

Talk to your physician to see if a carotid ultrasound is right for your unique treatment plan.