What is a Doppler ultrasound?
It is a non-invasive method that studies blood flow direction by examining the main blood vessels (arteries, major abdominal vessels, aortic trunks and the venous system). The Doppler ultrasound presents images in colour (red and blue) that show venous and arterial blood flow and highlight the presence of even the smallest lesions of the vessel walls, allowing for measurement to the most precise extent.
What is the purpose of a Doppler ultrasound?
The Doppler ultrasound can be used for the study and monitoring of main vascular diseases (arterial and venous stenosis, aneurysms, thrombosis and venous insufficiency) or to identify atherosclerotic lesions, which are plaques that block blood flow and can cause venous thrombi. Examination results can reveal any aneurysms or stenosis and occlusions in major abdominal blood vessels and diseases that often develop more severe symptoms.
What steps should be taken to help prepare for the examination?
In cases where the Doppler ultrasound is to performed on the patient’s abdomen, fasting is necessary. This is due to the fact that the abdominal vessels are situated nearby and if they are not emptied, it can prevent an accurate imaging on the ultrasound screen.
Which patients can undergo a Doppler ultrasound?
Anyone can undergo the examination.
Is a Doppler ultrasound painful or dangerous?
The exam is neither painful nor discomforting, and presents no contraindication.
How is a Doppler ultrasound performed?
The patient lies on a couch and a gel is applied to the part of their body that needs to be examined. The doctor then uses a probe to obtain images that appear on the screen of the ultrasound and are used to make a diagnosis. A Doppler ultrasound examination takes about twenty minutes.