Find us on Social Media:

Doppler Ultrasound
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Doppler Ultrasound Overview

Written by FoundHealth.


This test uses sound waves to examine parts of the body. It specifically looks at fluid motion in the blood vessels.

Major Abdominal Arteries and Veins
Major Abdominal Arteries and Veins
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

What to Expect

Prior to Test

Your doctor may do the following:

  • A physical exam
  • Blood or urine tests

In some cases your doctor may instruct you to:

  • Fast for 8-12 hours before the test. This will decrease the amount of gas in your intestines and make organs easier to see.
  • Have a full bladder before the test. You may need to drink six or more glasses of water without going to the bathroom.
  • Avoid smoking , because it can interfere with test results.

Description of the Test

You will lie on a table. Your doctor will put a gel on the skin over the area that is to be examined. The gel helps the sound waves travel between the machine and your body.

The ultrasound machine has a hand-held instrument called a transducer, which looks like a microphone or wand. The transducer is pushed against your skin where the gel was applied. The transducer sends sound waves into your body. The waves bounce off your internal organs and echo back to the transducer. The echoes are converted to images that are shown on a screen. The doctor examines the images on the screen. He may make a photograph of them as well.

You may be asked to change positions or hold your breath during the exam.

Ultrasound of Abdomen
Abdominal Ultrasound
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

After Test

The gel will be cleaned from your body. In most cases, you will be able to return to normal activities.

How Long Will It Take?

About 20-30 minutes

Will It Hurt?



After the test, a radiologist will examine the images. Your doctor will advise you of the results and talk to you about treatment.



American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine

Radiology Info


The College of Family Physicians of Canada

Health Canada


General ultrasound imaging. Radiology Info website. Available at: . Updated June 2009. Accessed July 24, 2009.

Lewis JA. Illustrated Guide to Diagnostic Tests. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corporation; 1994.

Ultrasound. Mayo website. Available at: . Updated December 2009. Accessed November 12, 2010.



No one has made any comments yet. Be the first!

Your Comment