Mercy Medical Center North Iowa

Arterial Doppler Study

What is an Arterial Doppler Study?
An arterial doppler is an ultrasound exam of the arteries located in your arms or legs. High frequency sound waves are used to obtain images of structures inside the body. Ultrasound imaging can help the radiologist see and evaluate arterial blockages, such as plaque in arteries.

Why did the Doctor Order this Exam for me?
Pain while walking, weakness; or to evaluate a graft, are some of the common reasons to undergo an arterial doppler.

What do I need to do to Prepare for the Exam?
No special preparation is needed for this exam.

What should I Expect when I Arrive?
There are currently two areas where ultrasounds are performed. When your exam is scheduled, the doctor's office will specify if you need to check in at Forest Park Imaging or at Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa's East Campus Radiology/Imaging Services desk. At that time, your personal and insurance information will be updated. You will need to provide your doctor's written order. Once you are registered, you will be asked to sit in the waiting area. A technologist will call your name and take you to the ultrasound room.

Who will be in the exam room with me?

A registered sonographer will perform the exam in Radiology's lab, which is accredited by the American College of Radiography. There also may be a student from the Radiology School of assisting the sonographer.

What will I Experience During the Exam?
The sonographer will ask you some questions regarding your medical history and the problems that you are experiencing. The sonographer will explain the examto you and make sure all your questions are answered. You will be asked to lie down on your back on a cart. Warm lotion and a transducer (a hand-held device that transmits sound waves) will be rubbed along your arms and legs. Cuffs may be wrapped around your arms and legs at different levels. These will be inflated and will squeeze your arm or leg, similar to having your blood pressure taken on your arm. The entire exam could take about 60 minutes.

What do I need to do After the Exam?
Following the arterial doppler, you will be able to resume normal activities.

When will I get the results of the Exam?
You will receive your results from your ordering physician.  You may receive a letter, a phone call, or have a follow up appointment with your physician.  If you are unsure of how you will receive your results, please contact your physician's office.

We are very concerned about any anxiety you may have about your exam. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have questions call 641-428-5122 or 1-800-433-3883, ext. 5122.