A carotid Doppler is a painless way of assessing your stroke risk. Tyler Internal Medicine Associates P.A. offer carotid Doppler testing at their offices in Tyler and Lindale, Texas, to evaluate your carotid artery health. The practice’s cardiovascular specialists identify problems like atherosclerosis that narrow the arteries so you can receive immediate treatment. Call Tyler Internal Medicine Associates P.A. to request a carotid Doppler screening exam or book an appointment online today.
A carotid Doppler is a noninvasive test using ultrasound (sound wave) technology to examine the carotid arteries in your neck. The machine transmits high-frequency sound into the arteries that bounce back to create an image that lets your provider see how well blood flows.
The carotids are large blood vessels that transport blood to your brain. After delivering the oxygen your brain needs, the blood returns to your heart along the jugular veins. If the carotids get too narrow, it can reduce blood flow and oxygen delivery (carotid artery disease). You could suffer a stroke if blood can’t reach the carotid arteries.
The primary reason that the carotid arteries narrow is atherosclerosis. This condition also causes coronary artery disease in the heart and peripheral vascular disease in the legs, resulting from plaque build-up.
Plaque is a sticky residue consisting of excess cholesterol and waste products from your blood. It lines the artery walls, restricting space for blood flow. The arteries may also harden. Blood clots can form that block the artery, or the plaque may become so thick blood can’t get through.
A carotid Doppler identifies atherosclerosis and determines if you have any dangerously narrow areas, blood clots, or other blockages.
Your Tyler Internal Medicine Associates P.A. provider might recommend a carotid Doppler if you’re at risk of having a stroke.
Sometimes people experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA), where blood flow stops temporarily and then restarts. It causes mild stroke-like symptoms that don’t result in permanent brain damage but are a warning that your stroke risk is high.
If you experience TIA symptoms, your provider uses carotid Doppler to look for artery narrowing. They may also do it to screen for atherosclerosis if you smoke, have excess body weight, eat a high-cholesterol diet, or have a family history of strokes, even if you’ve no symptoms.
Your provider might perform a carotid Doppler if they hear a whooshing sound (bruit) while listening to the blood flow through your carotid arteries during a physical exam. Bruit typically occurs when the artery narrows.
Call Tyler Internal Medicine Associates P.A. to learn more about carotid Doppler tests and stroke prevention, or book an appointment online today.