What preparation is needed for a carotid artery ultrasound?
There is no specific preparation for a carotid artery ultrasound but please wear something that makes your neck easily accessible.
What do you look at in a carotid artery ultrasound?
The sonographer will examine your carotid and vertebral arteries (blood vessels in your neck). They will look for plaque buildup and assess blood flow going to your brain.
What will happen during the exam?
You will need to lie on the ultrasound bed and have your shoulders on the pillow so your head is tilted back and your neck is easily accessible. Gel will be put on your neck and the sonographer will slide the transducer up and down the path of your blood vessels. You will hear the machine make noises as the sonographer watches and listens to blood racing to your brain.
What happens after the exam?
You may feel quite dizzy after this exam as you will have had your head tilted back for some time. Be careful as you hop up and take your time if you are dizzy. The sonographer will tell you any significant findings from the exam. She will write a report and that will be emailed to you and your referring doctor within 24 hours.
How long does a carotid artery ultrasound take?
The scan will take approximately 20 minutes.