by Diane Voyatzis, RD
A Doppler ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to examine parts of the body. It looks at the motion of fluids in the blood vessels.
Reasons for Test
Doppler ultrasound is used to:
Possible Complications TOP
In most cases, there are no complications with this test.
What to Expect TOP
Prior to Test
Your doctor may do the following:
In some cases your doctor may instruct you to:
Description of the Test
You will lie on a table. Your doctor will put a gel on the skin over the area that will be examined. The gel helps the sound waves travel between the machine and your body.
The ultrasound machine has a hand-held instrument called a transducer. It looks like a microphone or wand. The transducer is pushed against your skin where the gel was applied. The transducer sends sound waves into your body. The waves bounce off your internal organs and echo back to the transducer. The echoes are changed into images that are shown on a screen. The doctor examines the images on the screen. Photographs of the images may be taken.
You may be asked to change positions or hold your breath during the exam.
The gel will be cleaned from your body. You will be able to return to normal activities in most cases.
How Long Will It Take?
About 30 minutes to 1 hour
Will It Hurt?
A radiologist will examine the images after the test. Your doctor will let you know the results and talk to you about treatment.
Call Your Doctor TOP
After the test, call your doctor if symptoms become worse.
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Doppler. Radiological Society of North America Electronic Journal website. Available at: http://ej.rsna.org/ej3/0079-98.fin/doppler.htm . Accessed November 19, 2012.
General ultrasound imaging. Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?PG=genus . Updated July 2, 2012. Accessed November 19, 2012.
Radiation-emitting products. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov... . Updated June 6, 2012. Accessed November 19, 2012.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 3/18/2013