An ultrasound scan, also referred to as a sonogram, diagnostic sonography, and ultrasonography, is a device that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of some part of the inside of the body, such as the stomach, liver, heart, tendons, muscles, joints and blood vessels. Experts say that as sound waves, rather than radiation are used, ultrasound scans are safe. Obstetric sonography is frequently used to check the baby in the womb. Ultrasound scans are used to detect problems in the liver, heart, kidney or the abdomen.
What are some common uses of Ultrasound?
- Viewing an unborn fetus.
- Examining many of the body's internal organs, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, uterus, and ovaries.
- Enabling physicians to see blood flow.
- Evaluating superficial structures, such as the thyroid gland and scrotum (testicles).
- Lower extremity vascular ultrasound to evaluate for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
What should I expect during this exam?
After being positioned on the table, a clear gel will be applied to the area under examination. This will help the transducer make contact with the skin. The technologist will firmly press the transducer against the skin and move it back and forth to image the area.
After the examination is complete and the gel has been wiped off, you may be asked to wait while the ultrasound images are reviewed by the radiologist.
What will I experience during this exam?
Most ultrasound exams are painless. A gel will be applied to your skin, and there may be varying degrees of discomfort and pressure as the technologist guides the transducer over your body, especially if you are required to undergo the exam with a full bladder.