Carotid Ultrasound Screening in Tulsa, Ok

carotid ultrasound tulsa oklahoma

Carotid ultrasound is a safe, painless procedure that uses sound waves to examine the blood flow through the carotid arteries.

Your two carotid arteries are located on each side of your neck. They deliver blood from your heart to your brain. Carotid ultrasound tests for blocked or narrowed carotid arteries, which can increase the risk of stroke.

The results can help your doctor determine a treatment to lower your stroke risk.

What is Carotid Artery Disease?

Carotid artery disease occurs when fatty deposits (plaque) clog the blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain and head (carotid arteries). The blockage increases your risk of stroke, a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or seriously reduced.

Stroke deprives your brain of oxygen. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. Stroke is the most common cause of death and the leading cause of permanent disability in the U.S.

Carotid artery disease develops slowly. The first sign that you have the condition may be a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA is a temporary shortage of blood flow to your brain.

Treatment of carotid artery disease usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and sometimes surgery.

carotid artery disease screening tulsa
carotid artery image tulsa oklahoma

What is Carotid Artery Disease Screening?

A carotid ultrasound is performed to test for narrowed carotid arteries, which increase the risk of stroke.

Carotid arteries are usually narrowed by a buildup of plaque — made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances that circulate in the bloodstream.

Early diagnosis and treatment of a narrowed carotid artery can decrease stroke risk.

A carotid ultrasound is a non-invasive, painless screening test.

A carotid ultrasound is performed to test for narrowed carotid arteries, which increase the risk of stroke. Carotid arteries are usually narrowed by a buildup of plaque — made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances that circulate in the bloodstream. Early diagnosis and treatment of a narrowed carotid artery can decrease stroke risk.

Your doctor will recommend carotid ultrasound if you have transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or certain types of stroke, and may recommend a carotid ultrasound if you have medical conditions that increase the risk of stroke, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Family history of stroke or heart disease
  • Recent transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke
  • Abnormal sound in carotid arteries (bruit), detected by your doctor using a stethoscope
  • Coronary artery disease

To screen for narrowed or blocked blood vessels in other areas of the body, you may need additional tests, including:

  • Abdominal ultrasound: You may have an abdominal ultrasound to test for conditions affecting the blood vessels or organs in your abdominal area.
  • Ankle-brachial index test: This test measures and compares the blood pressure between your ankle and your arm. The test shows reduced or blocked blood flow to your legs.
  • Cardiac test called an Echocardiogram: This test shows how well your heart functions. Results can indicate poor blood flow to the heart or blockages by looking at the wall motion of the heart. Valves are also evaluated in an echocardiogram along with blood flow through the valve. 

Ultrasound, also called sonography, uses sound waves instead of X-rays to make images.

arterial ultrasound tulsa oklahoma

How it works:

A technician (sonographer) conducts the test with a small, hand-held device called a transducer, which emits sound waves and records the echo as the waves bounce off tissues, organs, and blood cells. A computer translates the echoed sound waves into a live-action image on a monitor.

The radiologist may use a Doppler ultrasound, which shows blood flowing through the arteries. This shows the rate of blood flow translated into a graph. A carotid ultrasound screening usually takes about 15-20 minutes.

carotid artery imaging with transducer tulsa ok

During the procedure:

More than likely, you will lie on your back during the ultrasound. The ultrasound technologist (sonographer) may position your head to better access the side of your neck. The sonographer will apply a warm gel to your skin above the site of each carotid artery. The gel helps transmit the ultrasound waves back and forth.

The sonographer then gently presses the transducer against the side of your neck. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort during the procedure.

types of carotid ultrasounds in tulsa ok

Types of carotid ultrasounds

Doppler carotid ultrasound:

This is a way to measure the blood flow in the artery. This is how we see how high or low the blood flow goes through your vessel. The higher the velocity or flow of blood the more at risk you are for stroke. 

 
 

 

Standard carotid ultrasound:

This procedure checks for plaque buildup in the arteries in the neck. These are the arteries that come straight from the heart and feed your brain blood. We check for any plaque buildup that can potentially break off and cause a stroke. 

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