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Carotid Ultrasound- About the Exam

Mountain Medical offers carotid ultrasound imaging, a safe and painless procedure that uses sound waves to examine the structure and function of the carotid arteries in the neck. You have two carotid arteries, one on each side of the neck, which deliver blood from the heart to the brain.

Carotid ultrasound imaging is usually used to screen for blockages that indicate an increased risk of stroke. Results from a carotid ultrasound can help your doctor determine what kind of treatment you may need to lower your risk. Risk factors calling for a carotid ultrasound include diabetes, elevated blood cholesterol and a family history of stroke or heart disease.

Carotid ultrasound imaging is performed to locate a hematoma, check the state of the carotid artery after surgery to restore normal blood flow, and verify the position of a metal stent placed to maintain blood flow.

What you can expect during a carotid ultrasound:

  • Your technologist will ask you to lay flat on your back on the examination table.
  • A clear, water-based gel is applied to the area of the body being studied.
  • The technologist then places the transducer on the skin in various locations, sweeping over the area of interest for different angles of the site.
  • A carotid ultrasound typically takes about 10 minutes.

Learn how to prepare for a carotid ultrasound.

Learn the benefits and risks of a carotid ultrasound.

Watch the Ultrasound - What to Expect Video.