Ultrasound is a painless, noninvasive imaging exam that produces images using harmless sound waves. Doctors use it to check the condition of key arteries in your body, including the abdominal aorta and the carotid arteries in the neck. It shows the internal and external structure of these blood vessels. Duplex ultrasound is traditional ultrasound combined with Doppler ultrasound, which can record dynamic, high-resolution images of blood flow.
At Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals, we use ultrasounds in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV, to diagnose heart problems and provide the right treatment. Take our heart health assessment and find a cardiologist to learn more about keeping your heart healthy.
Why We Provide Ultrasound at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
Doctors may use ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) or to assess the flow of blood through the two carotid arteries. The carotid arteries supply blood and oxygen to the brain.
Your doctor at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican may recommend AAA ultrasound screening if you are a man over age 60 who has ever smoked. Your doctor may also order it after finding an enlargement or pulsing of the abdominal aorta during a physical exam.
You may need a carotid duplex ultrasound if your doctor hears a characteristic whooshing sound — called a bruit — when listening to your carotid arteries with a stethoscope. A bruit signals a potential narrowing or blockage of the carotid artery. This can reduce blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. You also may need a carotid duplex ultrasound if you have a transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini stroke) or stroke.
What to Expect from a Diagnostic Ultrasound
An ultrasound examination is an outpatient procedure that may take place in a clinic or the radiology department of a hospital. The procedure requires you to lie on an examination table where a technician will apply gel to your skin and then will move a wand (transducer) over your skin to obtain images. You may feel some pressure from the transducer against your skin and hear sounds coming from the computer attached to the transducer. This is normal.
Because the ultrasound examination is noninvasive, you will be free to go as soon as it is completed. You may drive yourself to and from the ultrasound appointment and may resume normal activities immediately. Your doctor will notify you of the results shortly afterwards.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides diagnostic procedures, such as ultrasound for heart problems, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.