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What is a Carotid Ultrasound?

What is an Echocardiogram?

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a simple, safe, painless diagnostic procedure that bounces high frequency sound waves off parts of the body and captures the returning "echoes" as images. Ultrasound allows physicians to look at the actual structures of your heart, veins, and arteries as well as see the blood moving through them. During the exam the technologist will apply gel to the area of your body under examination and then take a picture by placing a small probe on your skin. Ultrasound tests have been used in medicine for over twenty years, have no known side effects and cause no pain. The only thing you will feel during the examination is the pressure of the probe the technologist will apply to the area to be imaged.



An Echocardiogram is a common type of ultrasound examination which allows physicians to view your heart. This examination will allow the physician to evaluate the blood flow, structure and function of your heart walls and valves. During the test a technologist will image your heart using a probe placed on your chest while you are lying on your side. You should only feel pressure from the probe on your chest.

There is no special preparation for this test, however, we recommend you wear a shirt or blouse that is easily removable for your convenience. No medications are given to you during this test, so you will be able to drive yourself home after the test is done.

Please allow approximately one hour for your appointment and test.


We use the Carotid Ultrasound test to show how much blood flows and and how fast it travels through your carotid arteries (vessels in the neck that provide blood flow to the brain), as well as the arteries themselves. Ultrasound waves are used to make an image of the arteries and the actual blood flow through the arteries. Narrowing of the carotid arteries - often caused by cholesterol deposits - and blood clots can be detected using this procedure. These conditions can cause problems with the blood flow to the brain and lead to a stroke.

You will be asked to lie down on an examination table. In order for the probe to slide easily on your skin, the technologist will place a clear gel on the area of the neck where the carotid artery is located. When the probe is placed against the skin, an image of the artery is shown on a video screen. To view the arteries from many angles, your technologist will reposition the probe several times. Because blood is flowing through the artery, a sound similar to your heartbeat will be heard. The procedure is repeated for the carotid artery on the other side of your neck.

There are no special preparations for this test. No medications are given to you during the test so you will be able to drive yourself home afterwards.

Please allow approximately one hour for your appointment and test.

Cardiac Studies