Like its name suggests, a Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to see how blood flows through major arteries and veins in the arms, legs and neck. It can show blocked or reduced flow of blood and find blood clots in leg veins (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) that could break loose and block blood flow to the lungs. This problem is called a pulmonary embolism.
During a Doppler ultrasound test, a handheld device (called a transducer) is passed lightly over the skin above a blood vessel. The transducer sends waves that bounce off solid objects, including blood cells. The reflected sound waves are translated into pictures or graphs that show the flow of blood through the blood vessels.
Doppler ultrasound is just one of the tools Mercy doctors use to diagnosis blood flow problems. It’s all part Mercy’s comprehensive network of physicians and technology dedicated to providing you complete and compassionate care.