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Carotid Ultrasound- Why Is It Done, And What Should You Expect?

3 Mins read

Carotid ultrasound is a painless and non-invasive test conducted using sound waves, measured through the carotid arteries located in the two sides of the neck, where blood flows from the heart to the brain. This test is also done for the measurement of the thickness of walls in the arteries and the detection of blood clots (if any).

This diagnostic test is critical to discovering blockages or narrowing of carotid arteries, conditions that increase the chances of occurrences of a stroke. The results from the ultrasound help healthcare providers design the right and relevant treatments to lower the risk of stroke. Make sure you get this test done by a professional and experienced Carotid Ultrasonography Service Provider in NY, as they have expertise in offering accurate results. 

Why is it done?

A carotid ultrasound is performed to detect the narrowed carotid arteries, which can be a significant risk factor for the onset of a stroke. In the majority of cases, it is caused by the buildup of plaque, which comprises fats, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the bloodstream. If the narrowed carotid arteries are detected on time and treated, the risks of stroke events can be drastically reduced.

Healthcare providers can order a carotid ultrasound following the event of a transient ischemic attack or other related incidents. Another use of this test is for people who are hypersensitive or suffering from existing medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Individuals with a family medical history of stroke and heart attack, recent TIAs or strokes at an advanced age, and who have an abnormal sound on the carotid artery or bruit should also consider getting this test. If you have a history of coronary artery disease or arterial hardening, you should also look for this test.

It is an invaluable assistance in the evaluation and risk reduction of a stroke as part of health care efforts focused on every patient`s personal and individual health situation.

Other uses

Carotid ultrasound is performed for many reasons besides determining the possibility of stroke. It assesses blood flow following the surgical removal of plaques, called carotid endarterectomy, to locate their remaining presence. It also assesses the effectiveness of stent area placements. It locates hematoma basement flow and detects other artery issues. 

Carotid thickness measurements and the character of plaques predict the presence of coronary artery disease. It monitors flow and clotting potential as blood passes through a person’s aortic valve to determine the risk of stroke when a person is undergoing a test. It also creates 3D models of carotid arteries that assist in providing accurate diagnoses. They have flexible applications in postoperative care, monitoring of vascular health, and increasing accuracy in diagnosis during cardiovascular evaluations.

How Do I Prepare For This Test?

You do not need to prepare for a carotid ultrasound. All you need to do is dress in a comfortable shirt that can easily provide access to your neck. Make sure that you are dressed for comfort and do not wear anything that may interfere with the equipment during your examination. If your clothes are inappropriate, you might need to change into a hospital gown, so it will be pretty accessible as fast as the ultrasound is concerned. 

What To Expect?

During The Procedure:

During this test, the Carotid Ultrasonography Service Provider in NY will apply some clear gel to both sides of your neck, where each carotid artery is located. This gel may feel a bit warm but allows sound waves to travel between your arteries and the transducer your provider is using.

This diagnostic test is done on the patient lying on their back, as a small transducer is set against the skin of the patient’s neck by the provider. The transducer sends and receives sound waves through the neck, which then bounce off your arteries, creating pictures that the computer analyzes. The provider moves the transducer to capture all necessary images.

If you are undergoing a Doppler ultrasound, you may hear strange sounds as each wave is detected.

Post-procedure:

In the event that you have a carotid artery ultrasound, your healthcare provider will give you a towel in case you can wipe the gel off your neck. After dressing, if you have worn a hospital gown, you might go home. You can resume performing your regular activities unless your care provider gives you other instructions. 

Results

After your carotid ultrasound, an imaging specialist called a radiologist will interpret the exam and prepare a report for your doctor, who may be a cardiologist or neurologist. He or she may discuss some test results with you. Your doctor will integrate the results of your carotid ultrasound as one piece of information in your care and will relate this to your state of health. 

Suppose the ultrasound indicates that you are at an increased risk of stroke. In that case, they may recommend lifestyle changes, such as following a heart-healthy diet and being active regularly in addition to managing your weight. 

Severe blockages may need surgical interventions: carotid endarterectomy or angioplasty with stenting. If this is an ultrasound to follow an intervention, your provider will evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment and discuss the next steps to be taken. It is important to know your results because your doctor can provide the appropriate treatment based on this diagnostic test. If you have also been recommended for this test, schedule an appointment with a nearby Carotid Ultrasonography Service Provider in NY today!

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