What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, obtains images of the body using high-frequency sound waves. These waves, which can not be heard by people or animals, are reflected and absorbed to varying degrees depending upon the types of tissue through which they pass. The reflected sound waves produce live images on a computer monitor for real-time imaging of an area of interest. Ultrasound imaging does not use x-rays.
Ultrasound can be used to examine nearly every part of the body. Since the images are generated in real time, they can be used to show the structure and movements of internal organs, muscles, and other structures. Sonography also allows a Radiologist to see blood flowing through arteries and veins. See Vascular Studies.
During a biopsy, ultrasound is often used as imaging guidance. Real time images help to make biopsies and other procedures faster, safer, and more accurate than the same procedures performed without unltrasound guidance. See Biopsy & Aspiration.
Preparing for Ultrasound
Depending on the type of ultrasound ordered by your physician, special preparation may be required. If you are having an OB or pelvic ultrasound you will be asked to drink at least 32oz of water in the hour before the exam. You must not empty your bladder until the Technologist either finishes the exam or instructs you to do so. For an abdominal ultrasound, you must not eat or drink anything, except for a small amount of water with medications, for 8 hours before your exam.
Once the ultrasound is complete, you can return to normal eating and activity.
What should you expect?
During an ultrasound, you will lie on an examination table. Clear gel is applied over the area to be examined in order to help the transducer make better contact with the skin. The sound waves produced by the transducer cannot penetrate air so the gel helps eliminate any air pockets that might otherwise form between the transducer and the skin. The technologist or radiologist presses the transducer against the skin and moves it back and forth to image the area of interest.
Most ultrasound exams do not take longer than 20 to 30 minutes.
When and how will you receive your results?
When the examination is complete the ultrasound images are reviewed by the Radiologist. The Radiologist will prepare a report and send it to your physician. Your physician will discuss the results of the exam with you.
Ultrasounds are performed at:
To schedule an appointment, contact us.