An abdominal aortic Doppler is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure that can identify enlargements in the abdominal aorta. This test is both a diagnostic tool to pinpoint the cause of unusual symptoms and a preventive screening tool for aortic aneurysms.
If you’re planning an abdominal aortic Doppler procedure at Chinatown Cardiology, our cardiology team helps you prepare, so you know what to expect. Here, we provide some insight into the purpose of the test, how it works, and what happens on the day of your procedure.
An overview of an abdominal aortic Doppler
An abdominal aortic Doppler is an ultrasound test that uses sound waves to create images of the abdominal aorta. This artery, part of the aorta, rests in your abdomen and carries blood away from your heart to the rest of your body.
The sound waves move through your skin to reach the abdominal aorta. As the sound waves bounce off the structure, they create images that our providers evaluate for enlargement and other abnormalities.
Based on the results, our cardiologists can determine if you need additional screenings or treatment for underlying aortic conditions like abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Why you need an abdominal aortic Doppler
You might be a candidate for abdominal aortic Doppler scans if you have risk factors for aortic aneurysm, a condition that describes weakness in the aorta. This weakness can lead to bulging in the aortic wall that may ultimately rupture and spill blood into your abdominal cavity.
Aneurysm risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure (hypertension), and diabetes.
You may also need an abdominal aortic Doppler if you have symptoms that relate to an abdominal aortic aneurysm, such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, a pulsating abdominal mass, or sudden loss of consciousness.
Additionally, our Chinatown Cardiology providers may recommend regular Doppler scans if you have a known aneurysm that requires ongoing monitoring.
What to expect from your abdominal aortic Doppler
Ahead of your procedure, our staff provides guidance to help you get ready for your scan. That includes eating a healthy meal the night before and fasting for at least five hours before your appointment. Food restriction helps keep bowel gases from interfering with your results.
During your abdominal aortic Doppler, you lie comfortably on an exam table. Your provider puts a hand-held probe on your abdomen and moves it over the skin to get clear pictures of your aorta. The test doesn’t take long and shouldn’t cause you any discomfort.
After your test is complete, our cardiologists look at the images of your abdominal aorta. If they notice any enlargement or other abnormalities, your physician discusses any additional testing or treatment you need.
We offer customized treatment plans for abdominal aortic aneurysms to prevent them from rupturing.
If your Doppler results are normal, you can go back to your usual routine and diet without limitations. We can determine if you need additional Doppler screenings based on your overall health, lifestyle, and aortic aneurysm risk factors.
Call Chinatown Cardiology at one of our four New York City locations, in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, to learn more about the diagnostic benefits of an abdominal aortic Doppler, or book your appointment online today.