This is a diagnostic study that uses sound waves to produce images. The ultrasound machine consists of a computer and a transducer, which is a type of microphone device and sound transmitter. The transducer sends high-pitched sounds into the body and listens to echoes as they are sent back from the tissues. The computer then takes the echoes and turns them into images. Ultrasound can provide important diagnostic information about cysts, solid masses, mass lesions of the abdomen, urinary tract, and pelvis, and vascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis of carotid vessels and arteries, particularly femoral arteries.
An application of diagnostic ultrasound used to detect moving blood cells or other moving structures with the direction and speed of the their movement. It is used to evaluate movement by measuring changes in frequency of the echoes reflected from moving structures. Doppler ultrasound permits real-time viewing of blood flow. This procedure aids in the evaluation of the major arteries and veins of the body, the heart, and in obstetrics for fetal monitoring.
Carotid ultrasound is an important health exam that identifies the extent of plaque within the major arteries and veins of the arms, legs, and neck. It can determine the degree of narrowing vessels and detect possible blocked or reduced blood flow in the arteries of the neck that could cause a stroke. According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), stroke is the nation’s No. 3 killer and is a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. A stroke can happen at anytime, anywhere. The ASA estimates that every 53 seconds, someone in America has a stroke and approximately 600,000 people nationwide suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year – 28 percent of those are under age 65 – and 160,000 of them will die.
During the Exam
You will be asked to change into a gown. You will be escorted into the ultrasound exam room where you will lie on a bed. The technologist will spread a small amount of water-based gel over the area of the body that is to be imaged. The ultrasound transducer will be utilized to gather images for interpretation.
After the Exam
You may be asked to wait in the waiting room for about 15-20 minutes until the films are developed.