Carotid Ultrasound: How to Prepare


If your physician has ordered a carotid ultrasound, he or she is asking for a test to detect dangerous, narrowed carotid arteries that increase the risk of stroke. Your doctor will recommend a carotid ultrasound if you have transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or certain types of stroke. You may also be prescribed a carotid ultrasound if you have other medical conditions that heighten your risk of stroke, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • A family history of stroke or heart disease
  • Recent transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke
  • Abnormal sound in carotid arteries (bruit)
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)

How to prepare for your carotid ultrasound

Getting ready for your carotid ultrasound is fairly straightforward. For example, you may be asked not to smoke or drink caffeine for at least two hours before the test. Use of cigarettes or vaping devices and drinking or consuming caffeine can shrink your blood vessels and impact the accuracy of the test.

Be sure to wear comfortable clothing with a loose or open neck. Avoid turtlenecks or silk clothing, which could be stained by the ultrasound gel. Do not wear jewelry, or if you do, remove it prior to the exam.

Alaska’s leader in carotid ultrasound, and much more

Alaska Family Sonograms is proud to be a trusted source for advanced, multifaceted ultrasound services. Should you need a carotid ultrasound in Anchorage, Alaska, AFS is the choice for ultra-accurate interpretations, precise resolution and efficient reports. We work closely with your doctor to ensure transparent and timely information exchange, and we do it all while respecting your individual needs and preferences.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call at 907-561-3601 or click here to use our online form.

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