Ultrasound, also known as sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of your inner body. The sound waves vibrate at 20,000 times a second or more, creating a sound far higher than the human ear can detect.
An ultrasound machine has a transducer that gives off the sound waves. The sound reflects off your organs and tissues to the ultrasound machine, which produces an electronic picture based on the sound echoes.
Because ultrasound images are real-time, they can show blood flowing through your veins or a baby moving in the womb. Ultrasound doesn’t use ionizing radiation like CT scans and X-rays, so it’s the safest imaging technology.
Ultrasound excels in reproducing soft tissues rather than hard structures like bone. Therefore you’re most likely to need an ultrasound to examine your internal organs, blood vessels, and thyroid gland.
Your doctor might refer you for an ultrasound if you have:
Ultrasound is also the safest way to monitor a baby’s development during pregnancy.
Ultrasounds typically require minimal preparation. For an abdominal ultrasound, you might have to stop eating for a while beforehand so your digestive tract is empty. For pelvic and obstetrical ultrasounds, you need to have a full bladder.
Advanced Diagnostics and Imaging’s office staff provide you with detailed instructions on preparing for your ultrasound when you schedule the examination.
Ultrasound is a simple, noninvasive procedure that takes place while you lie on a padded table. You won’t need any injections or intravenous contrast materials as you do with some diagnostic imaging procedures.
The ultrasound technologist applies a clear, water-soluble gel to your skin over the area they will scan. Any air between the transducer and your body interferes with the ultrasound signal, resulting in unclear images. The gel ensures the transducer maintains good contact with your skin.
The technologist moves the transducer over your skin to obtain multiple views of your internal organs. These moving images provide your doctor with invaluable information that helps diagnose or evaluate your condition.
To find out more about ultrasound scans and their uses, call Advanced Diagnostics and Imaging today or book an appointment online.