A Doppler ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to show blood moving through blood vessels. The colour doppler is a non invasive, painless procedure that doesn’t expose you to harmful radiation. The test uses a computer to change sound waves into different colors. These colors show the speed and direction of blood flow in real time.
What is it used for?
Color Doppler ultrasound tests are used to help health care providers find out if you have a condition that is reducing or blocking blood flow in the arteries or veins of your legs, arms, or neck. A reduced amount of blood flow may be due to a blockage in the artery, a blood clot inside a blood vessel, or an injury to a blood vessel. It may also be used to help diagnose certain heart diseases.
The test is most often used to:
- Check heart function. It is often done along with an electrocardiogram, a test that measures electrical signals in the heart.
- Look for blockages in blood flow. Blocked blood flow in the legs can cause a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- Check for blood vessel damage and for defects in the structure of the heart. Look for narrowing of blood vessels. Narrowed arteries in arms and legs can mean you have a condition called peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Narrowing of arteries in the neck can mean you have a condition called carotid artery stenosis.
- Monitor blood flow after surgery.
- Check for normal blood flow in a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.
Why do I need a Doppler ultrasound?
You may need a Doppler ultrasound if you have symptoms of reduced blood flow or a heart disease. Symptoms vary depending on the condition causing the problem. Some common blood flow conditions and symptoms are below.
Symptoms of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) include:
- Numbness or weakness in your legs
- Painful cramping in your hips or leg muscles when walking or climbing stairs
- Cold feeling in your lower leg or foot
- Change in color and/or shiny skin on your leg
Symptoms of heart problems include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in your legs, feet, and/or abdomen
You may also need a Doppler ultrasound if you:
- Have had a stroke. After a stroke, your health care provider may order a Color Doppler test, to check blood flow to the brain.
- Had an injury to your blood vessels.
- Are pregnant and your provider thinks you or your unborn baby might have a blood flow problem. Your provider may suspect a problem if your unborn baby is smaller than it should be at this stage of pregnancy or if you have certain health problems. These include sickle cell disease or preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure that affects pregnant women.
Prevention is better than cure and early detection can be a boon to you your wellbeing. We at ACCORD Hospitals have highly skilled technicians and renowned cardiologists that will help perform your test seamlessly and evaluate your test results.
Book your appointment today!