Taking a Colour Doppler Ultrasound Test

What is a Doppler Ultrasound?

More advanced than a regular ultrasound, a colour doppler ultrasound is a special non-invasive test that measures the amount and speed of blood flow in your body. It is commonly used to examine the arteries and veins in your neck, arms or legs to determine if there are any clots or blockages present.

There are different kinds of doppler ultrasounds that can be performed, but in our Perth clinic we offer the colour doppler test. The sound waves produced from your scan are converted into a colour picture that shows the blood flow through the arteries and veins.

What can this test diagnose?

A doppler ultrasound can detect the following:

  • Blood clots in leg veins – Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Blockages in the arteries (mainly due to the build up of cholesterol)
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Bulging arteries (aneuryms)
  • Thinning of an artery (stenosis)
  • Restricted blood flow in the fetus during pregnancy

What is the preparation?

Preparing for a doppler ultrasound varies depending on the area to be scanned:

DVT tests for arms or legs
No preparation is required for this ultrasound and the test should only take around 30 minutes.

Arterial scan of the arm
No preparation is required. Allow 30-60 minutes to complete the ultrasound.

Arterial scan of the aorta, mesenteric, renal and leg arteries
You’re required to fast for 6 hours prior to your scan. Please allow 30-60 minutes for the entire examination.

Please remember to bring any previous ultrasound results to your appointment.

What happens with during a doppler ultrasound?

This straightforward procedure requires you to lie down on a table while a sonographer places gel on the area to be tested. A handheld device is then placed on top of the gel to examine your blood vessels.

It is common to hear the sound of blood flowing through your blood vessels during the scan. Sometimes the sonographer will have to lightly squeeze the area to properly examine your veins. This is generally painless and there are no risks associated with taking the test.

How do I get my results?

A radiologist will review the images taken and a report will be forwarded to your doctor generally within 24-48 hours. We recommend you make an appointment with your GP to discuss the results of your ultrasound. A radiologist would phone the referring Doctor immediately in the event a clot was found from a DVT study.

Make an appointment

Doppler ultrasounds are performed at our Perth clinic in Wembley. Please ensure you have first received a referral from your doctor prior to making an appointment.

Please note: Due to the high demand for ultrasound examinations, a cancellation fee will be charged if you don’t provide at least 24 hours notice to cancel an appointment.

Contact us to make a booking.