Carotid Doppler Scan FAQs

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, ultrasound exams do need an appointment. If you cannot attend your appointment we appreciate it if you can give 24 hours notice.

Do I need a referral letter from my GP?

No, you do not need a referral letter for a medical scan. If you come in without a referral letter the report will be emailed to you and you may pass it on to your GP. We do not send reports to a GP if they have not ordered it. If there are urgent findings we will help you arrange a doctor’s visit where you can take the report with you as you may need a referral to a consultant.

What is the preparation for a carotid doppler scan?

There is no preparation for this exam however wearing a shirt or top where the neck is exposed or easily uncovered is preferable. You may be asked to remove necklaces or other jewelry if in the area that is being evaluated.

What organs are viewed in the carotid doppler scan?

During this examination, we evaluate common carotid, internal carotid, external carotid and vertebral arteries on the left and right side.

What can a carotid doppler ultrasound see?

The carotid ultrasound can identify and measure the amount of plaque in the arteries in the neck

What happens during the carotid doppler scan?

A transducer/camera is placed on the neck and the sonographer will scan the area of concern. During the exam you may hear a noise like a heartbeat, this is the pulse or blood flow within the neck.

How long will the exam take?

The scheduled time for this exam is 30 minutes.

Who will report my exam?

After the sonographer has completed your exam the images will be sent to a consultant radiologist who will report your scan.

When will I receive my results?

You will get verbal results from the sonographer at the end of the examination however it is up to the radiologist to make a final report. The formal report will be sent to your GP by post which may take up to 5 days. If you are self-referred it may also take up to 5 days for you to receive the formal report by email. If there are urgent findings the process will be expedited and faxed to your GP within 24 hours.