Carotid ultrasound can detect any problems in the carotid arteries that carry blood to your brain. Blockages in or narrowing of the carotid arteries can lead to stroke, so if you're at risk, it’s a good idea to visit COR Healthcare Medical Associates in Torrance, San Pedro, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, California. Their talented team of board-certified cardiologists can assess the condition of your carotid arteries and prescribe effective treatments to reduce your risk of stroke. Call our Los Angeles offices today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Carotid ultrasound is a technology that your cardiologist can use to see how well blood is flowing through your carotid arteries. It uses sound waves to create images safely and painlessly.
You have one carotid artery on each side of your neck that carries blood from your heart to your brain. This blood is oxygen-rich, giving your brain what it needs to function correctly. If these arteries narrow or become blocked, your risk of having a stroke increases significantly.
Using carotid ultrasound gives your cardiologist the opportunity to check the health of your carotid arteries and help treat any narrowing before it causes a stroke.
The technician who carries out your carotid ultrasound is called a sonographer. They use a transducer, a small, portable machine that sends out sound waves. It then records the echo the sound waves make when they bounce off tissues and blood.
The transducer relays the information to a computer that translates the data into a moving image the sonographer can see on a screen. Doppler ultrasound translates the information to calculate the blood-flow rate and creates a graph to show the results.
Carotid ultrasound typically takes around 30 minutes.
Arteries all around your body could have a buildup of plaque in them that causes narrowing. Plaque is a substance that forms from cholesterol and other products like calcium that are in your blood.
If you have a ministroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack), you should have a carotid ultrasound to see what’s causing the problem. You could also benefit from having carotid ultrasound if you have other risk factors that increase your likelihood of having a stroke like:
Having a family history of stroke or heart disease can increase your risk as well.
Your cardiologist might find you have bruit, an abnormal sound coming from your carotid arteries. They can detect bruit by listening to the arteries with a stethoscope.
There are other occasions when you might need carotid ultrasound:
Carotid ultrasound can be used to assess the improvement in blood flow after plaque removal surgery.
If you have an angioplasty with stent procedure, your cardiologist can use carotid ultrasound to check the placement of the stent and how well it’s working.
Carotid ultrasound can also help detect any other abnormalities in your carotid arteries like a hematoma.
If you have risk factors that mean you’re more likely to have a stroke or if you’ve had a TIA, call COR Healthcare Medical Associates to arrange a carotid ultrasound screening or book an appointment online.