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US Arterial Doppler Carotids & Vertebrals Patient Information

This page contains information for a US Arterial Doppler Carotids & Vertebrals. Please contact us with any further questions prior to your examination.

What is a US Arterial Doppler Carotids & Vertebrals scan?

Carotid ultrasound is a safe, noninvasive, painless procedure that uses sound waves to examine the blood flow through the carotid arteries. It also evaluates the thickness of the carotid artery wall and checks for clots. A carotid ultrasound tests for blocked or narrowed carotid arteries, which can increase the risk of stroke. Your referrer will explain the implications of the findings after the scan.  Images are created using sound waves and there is no radiation.

Asking for your consent

The radiographer will ask if you are happy for the scan to go ahead. This is called verbal consent. You will also be asked to sign a form to agree to have the injection. Your radiographer will go through this form in detail. It is your decision, and you can change your mind at any time. Please ask any questions you have at any point.

What happens during the scan? 

  • A healthcare assistant will collect you from the waiting room to take you through to your scan where they will confirm your details.
  • You may be asked to change into a gown. They will confirm your details with you such as your name and date of birth.
  • You will then be asked to lie on a couch next to the ultrasound machine.
  • The radiologist will then put some ultrasound gel on your neck
  • They will then sit alongside you, put the ultrasound probe on top of the gel and move it slowly around your neck to view the carotid vessels

What happens after the scan?

After the scan you are free to leave the department when you are ready, unless you have any other tests that day.  The results will be sent to your referrer after 48 hours.

Contact us

Please contact the Imaging team about any general concerns on 0207 467 4317. However, if you experience any symptoms of concern please contact your GP or go to your local Emergency Department (A&E).

Your comments and concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about your medicines, please speak to the staff caring for you. For support or advice please speak to your consultant or the Imaging department on 0207 467 4317.

Language and accessible support services

If you need an interpreter or information about your care in a different language or format, please get in touch.

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