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Doppler Ultrasound Scan - Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who will perform my Doppler ultrasound scan?

Doppler ultrasound scan is usually performed by a radiologist or sonographer. Sometimes, specialist doctors, medical physicists, specialist cardiac technicians, specialist midwives and other professionals may also perform the test.

2. How long will it take to do Doppler ultrasound test?

Generally ultrasound test takes about 10-30 mins.
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3. What are the preparations that need to be done before ultrasound scan?

The patient must be without food and drink for atleast six hours prior to the scan is done. Medication can be administered with a tiny amount of water.

4. Who can prescribe me a Doppler ultrasound scan?

Your consultant or specialist physician will prescribe a Doppler ultrasound scan. Doppler test can be prescribed by a cardiologist, neurologist, gynaecologist or a vascular specialist. Doppler scan of the recommended area is based on the disease or condition to be evaluated.

5. Does Doppler ultrasound scan only evaluate blood flow?

Doppler ultrasound scan is essentially used to measure the speed and direction of the blood flow. The Doppler Effect is based on the sound reflected by a moving object. Blood in our body is constantly moving and the information obtained from the scan can give a good idea about the condition of the area being evaluated.

6. Are the ultrasound waves that are passed via the probe, or the sound waves that bounce off the blood, harmful in any way?

Human beings can hear sounds frequencies between 20 Hertz and 20,000 Hertz. Ultrasound waves are sound waves of frequencies beyond human range of hearing. These sound waves do not cause any harm to human organs, blood or blood vessels.

7. Does Doppler ultrasound give accurate results?

The results of Doppler ultrasound scan are quite accurate, however they can be affected by various factors such as presence of gas in the intestine, movement of the patient during the procedure, obesity and so on.

8. Can I watch the screen while the Doppler ultrasound procedure is performed?

While the screen can reveal the pictures taken during the Doppler scan procedure, it might be turned towards the person doing the scan. If you wish to see the images, you may ask for the monitor to be turned towards you at some point of time during the examination.
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9. Will I be able to see the recorded images of the scan?

The results of the scan include the images recorded during the Doppler scan. These images can be kept as a permanent record in the form of digital images or hard copies.

10. Why do some doctors advise against home fetal Doppler monitors?

FDA recommends that Doppler scan machines must be used only under the supervision of a healthcare professional as it can raise false alarms and concerns about the developing fetus. The portable Doppler scan machine cannot fully replace the procedures followed during the routine prenatal check-up. The portable Doppler scan is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis.

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Dr. Roshni Shukla
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Shukla hospital - Ultrasound and Diagnostic Centre, Dharamshala
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