What is Carotid Dopplers?

A carotid ultrasound typically lasts about 15 to 30 minutes. Generally, this procedure is a risk-free way for your doctor to view any changes and abnormalities in your body.

What happens during a Carotid Doppler?

  1. You’ll lie down on the examination table with your head bent slightly backward.
  2. The technician will apply a gel to your neck.
  3. The technician will move a small ultrasound wand along the area where your carotid arteries are located.
  4. The ultrasound images are recorded and send to your doctor for evaluation.

Why is Carotid Dopplers perform?

If your doctor thinks you may have carotid artery disease. Carotid artery disease is a significant risk factor for stroke. This condition happens when cholesterol buildup in the carotid arteries and creates blood clots. If these clots break, they can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

Get immediate medical attention if you experience any of these early signs of a stroke; it could mean that you either had a stroke or are about to have one.

  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling on arm or leg
  • Inability to move your arm or leg
  • Inability to speak clearly
  • Inability to see in one eye or peripheral vision loss


This procedure does not require much preparation other than wearing comfortable clothes, avoiding turtlenecks or silk fabric, and no jewelry. As smoking and caffeine use can shrink your blood vessels, you may be asked not to smoke or drink caffeine for at least 2 hours before the test.

What happens after a carotid ultrasound?

Doctors can order more tests if they need further information. Generally, the doctor will recommend treatment depending on how severe it the condition is. You may need surgery to remove the plaque in your arteries, or you might need what’s called carotid angioplasty and stenting.

Lifestyle changes are also crucial for treating and preventing carotid artery disease. They include:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Adopting a healthy diet
  • Exercising
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