Vascular & Carotid – Frequently Asked Questions

Vascular & Carotid FAQ

Do I need an order?

A physician’s order is required for a complete diagnostic carotid ultrasound.

A physician’s order is not required for carotid intimal screening.

What is the benefit of a carotid ultrasound?

If a carotid ultrasound exam shows significant narrowing of one or both carotid arteries, measures can be taken to restore normal flow of blood to the brain which can prevent strokes.

What are the limitations of carotid ultrasound imaging?

Carotid ultrasound may be difficult or impossible if a patient has a dressing covering a wound or surgical scar in the neck. Occasionally the carotid arteries are difficult to examine because of the size or contour of the neck and/or some extensive calcium deposits in the wall of the carotid artery.

What are the benefits of venous ultrasound?

Venous ultrasound helps to detect blood clots in the veins of the legs before they become dislodged and pass to the lungs. It can also show the movement of blood within blood vessels.

What are the limitations of venous ultrasound?

Some blood clots in the calf may not be detected.

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