What is a Doppler Ultrasound?
There are two types of Doppler ultrasounds:
- Arterial Doppler ultrasound is an imaging test to check the blood flow in the arteries in your arms or legs. The test looks for blockages that could lead to peripheral vascular disease.
- Venous Doppler ultrasound is an imaging test of the veins in the arms and legs to determine if you have blood clots in your extremities.
What You Need to Know About Doppler Ultrasounds
- Arterial Doppler ultrasound takes about 30 minutes for each arm or leg imaged. The Venous Doppler ultrasound takes about 20 minutes for each arm or leg.
- The Arterial Doppler ultrasound is painless. During a Venous Doppler ultrasound, the technician will compress the veins in your arms or legs to check for blood clots. Depending on the tenderness of your extremities, you may have minimal discomfort.
- Wear clothing that you can take off easily for both types of procedures:
- Arterial: Your technician will need access to your legs, from the groin to the ankle, or your arms, from the neck to the wrist. You do not have to remove your underwear.
- Venous: The technician will need access to your legs, from the groin to the ankle, or your arms, from the neck to the wrist. You do not have to remove underwear.
What to Expect During a Doppler Ultrasound
You will be asked to lie down on an exam table and a warm gel will be applied to the area being examined. The sonographer will place the transducer on the part of the body being examined and rolls the transducer around to view different angles of the area being examined and will take snapshots and measurements for the radiologist to review and send to the physician.
What to Expect After a Doppler Ultrasound
As soon as your exam is over, the results are sent to a radiologist to interpret and make a report for the physician. Your physician will review the report and images and will discuss the findings with you at your next appointment.