Carotid Doppler Specialist

Amer Zaheer, MD -  - Internal Medicine Physician

Choice Family Medicine

Amer Zaheer, MD

Internal Medicine Physician located in Houston, TX

Strokes are the third-leading cause of death for Americans, and in some cases, the risk of stroke increases when the carotid arteries on the side of your neck suffer from a blockage or narrowing. Choice Family Medicine in Houston provides preventive carotid Doppler testing to protect you from strokes. Call or use online booking today to schedule an appointment and learn more about what carotid Doppler can do for you.

Carotid Doppler Q & A

What is a carotid Doppler test?

A carotid Doppler test is a painless procedure during which your provider at Choice Family Medicine uses sound waves to evaluate the health of the blood flow through your carotid arteries.

You have two carotid arteries on each side of your neck, and they’re essential in delivering blood from the heart to the brain.

A carotid Doppler test can help determine whether there is a blockage or narrowing of your carotid arteries. If you test positive for either, your risk of stroke increases significantly, but rest assured the experts at Choice Family Medicine work with you to establish the best preventive treatment plan.

What are the uses of a carotid Doppler test?

The primary use of a carotid Doppler test is to track the proper functioning of your carotid arteries. In most cases, narrowed carotid arteries can lead to strokes.

This narrowing generally occurs because of plaque buildup. Choice Family Medicine uses carotid Doppler tests to prevent the accumulations from becoming dangerous and to identify them as soon as possible.

Your provider might recommend a carotid Doppler test if you’ve been diagnosed with any of these conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Family history of strokes and heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)

You may also need a carotid Doppler if you suffer from transient ischemic attacks — temporary blockages of blood flow to the brain — or other kinds of strokes.

What should I expect during a carotid Doppler test?

For a carotid Doppler test, your provider uses a small handheld device called a transducer, which emits sound waves and produces echoes as the waves bounce off tissues, organs, and blood cells. They then record these patterns to test for abnormalities. After they have successfully recorded these sound patterns, they are inputted into a computer and translated into a live-action image.

During the procedure, your provider asks you lie on your back so they can have access to the sides of your neck, where the carotid arteries are located. They then apply a conductive gel to the skin above the arteries and press the transducer against them.

The test generally lasts up to 30 minutes and is entirely harmless. You should tell your provider immediately if you experience any discomfort during the test.

To learn more about the uses of carotid Doppler tests, as well as how you can reduce your chances of having a stroke, call Choice Family Medicine or use online booking to schedule an appointment today.