A Doppler ultrasound is a type of imaging test that primarily uses the sound waves to show the blood moving through the blood vessels. It mainly works by measuring sound waves that are reflected by the moving objects, such as the red blood cells. This is primarily known as the Doppler effect.

Well, there are different types of Doppler ultrasounds. They include –

Continuous Wave Doppler– It is called bedside Doppler. It can be done with a portable machine that is needed to provide a quick estimate of the damage that is done by the conditions such as the stroke.

Duplex Doppler- It uses a combination of standard ultrasound methods that is needed to picture the moving blood and the organs surrounding the blood vessel.

 Color Doppler-Standard Ultrasound method is used to produce a picture of the blood vessel. The Doppler sounds are converted into colors that are overlaid on the image of the blood vessel, showing the direction of the blood flow, and its speed.

 Power Doppler-Uses the amplitude of the Doppler signal to detect moving matter. Detection of small velocities compared to colour Doppler helps to obtain blood flow through vessels.

Doppler Ultrasound Scan Procedure– A radiologist or a sonographer is qualified to perform the Doppler ultrasound.

Doppler Echocardiography– It is an ultrasound technique that can produce accurate assessment of the direction of blood flow. This technique is non-invasive. It is equally effective in assessing the blood flow in the heart. This is a brilliant method to evaluate the cardiac valve areas and their functions.

  • For head and neck scans, the patient’s head may be turned to a required side.
  • For chest scans, the patient is made to lie down with a slightly extended neck.
  • For abdominal scans, the patient is generally made to lie on the back.
  • Doppler scan of pregnancy is done with the patient lying on the back or the left side with belly exposed.

How to prepare for Doppler Ultrasound-

  • Avoid nicotine products like cigarettes and tobacco for 2-4 hours. It is said that nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict, and this may be mistaken for a pathological constriction.
  • The patient must remove all the jewelry and metal accessories as they interfere with the examination results.
  • Patient must strictly change his clothes to hospital gown according to the area of the body being examined.
  • A patient must eat low fiber food all day to minimize gas.
  • For an abdominal scan, the patient would be asked how to eat a low-fiber diet all through a day before the test.

Risks of the Doppler ultrasound scan-

There is no risk involved in the Doppler scan. It does not harm the blood vessels, heart, brain, and uterine structures of the foetus in any way.

There are some false positive results that may give rise to doubts about abnormalities present – like extreme obesity, presence of gas in the intestines, movement of the patient during the procedure.