What is Ultrasound Imaging?
Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, is a method of obtaining diagnostic images from inside the human body through the use of high frequency sound waves. Ultrasonography is used as a diagnostic tool that uses no radiation.
What are some common uses of Ultrasound
- Obstetric imaging
- Examining many of the body's internal organs, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder.
- Evaluating pelvic organs, such as the uterus and ovaries. For this exam, to best see the organs, a transvaginal ultrasound using an internal ultrasound probe is often used.
- Showing blood flow in arteries, evaluating for hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and flow in veins to look for clots in veins (DVTs).
- Image the breast and guide biopsy of breast masses.
- Evaluate superficial structures, such as the thyroid gland and scrotum (testicles)
- Evaluate superficial lumps
- Many pediatric uses which are further described in the pediatric section.
How should I prepare for an Ultrasound?
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- Depending on the type of ultrasound exam you have, you will be asked:
- For abdominal ultrasound, do not eat or drink for up to 6 hours before your appointment, or
- For pelvic ultrasound, drink up to six glasses of water two hours prior to your exam and avoid urinating. This will ensure a full bladder when the exam begins.
- There is no preparation needed for ultrasound of the thyroid gland, scrotum, carotid arteries, leg veins, superficial tissues, or breast.
When you call to make an appointment, our scheduler will tell you your exact preparation.
What should I expect during this exam?
The examination usually takes less than 30 minutes. After being positioned on the exam table, a clear warmed gel is applied in the area being examined. This helps the transducer make contact with the skin. The technologist firmly presses the transducer against the skin and moves it back and forth to image the area of interest. Ultrasound is a painless procedure.
For more information on this topic, please visit www.Radiologyinfo.org.