Published: May 16, 2007
Updated: Aug. 22, 2011
A Doppler study is an ultrasound study that uses sound waves to evaluate your blood vessels.
Why is it ordered? What information will it give my doctors? How will it help me?
A Doppler study gives your doctors information about the blood flow in your arteries and veins and can diagnose if a blood vessel is open or blocked.
What should my health care professional know before I have this test/procedure done?
Your doctor should know if you are diabetic because some Doppler studies require you do not eat or drink anything before your study.
Where is this done?
Most Doppler studies are performed in the radiology department in the Ultrasound area on the first floor of Duke University Hospital.
Do I need to have someone drive me home afterward?
Do I need to do anything to get ready for this test?
Some Doppler studies require that you do not eat or drink anything for 4 to 6 hours before the study and sometimes an overnight fast is preferred.
What happens during the procedure?
You will lie on an ultrasound (US) table next to an US machine. An US sonographer will place gel and a probe on the part of your body to be evaluated. The Doppler probe transmits sound waves into your body and receives information, which is processed by the US machine to create a picture of your blood vessels.
Is this test/procedure painful?
How long does it take?
A Doppler study generally takes about 45 minutes to one hour.
What happens after the procedure?
The radiologist will review the Doppler US images.
What are the risks with this procedure?
There are no known risks associated with Doppler studies.
Call your doctor if any of these things happen to you.
Doppler US studies are safe and have no known after effects. You should call your doctor if your medical condition worsens.
How will I get the results of this test?
Your doctor will discuss the results of your Doppler study with you. Often a handwritten note is sent to your doctor as quickly as possible or your doctor is called with preliminary results. The final report is dictated and available to your doctor on the hospital information system. A printed copy is distributed to your chart after the report is finalized.
This article is intended as a resource for patients receiving their cancer care at Duke University Hospital or Duke Clinic. It is not intended to substitute for medical advice from your health care team. If your doctor’s instructions differ from the information in this article, please talk with your doctor before making any changes.