What is an Ultrasound?
An Ultrasound is an ultrasound-based diagnostic medical imaging technique used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, to capture their size, structure, and any pathological lesions with real-time tomographic images. Ultrasound has been used by sonographers to image the human body for at least 50 years and has become one of the most widely used diagnostic tools in modern medicine.
Ultrasound examinations can help to diagnose a variety of conditions and to assess organ damage following illness. Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body's internal organs.
Ultrasounds help physicians evaluate symptoms such as:
• hematuria (blood in urine)
Ultrasound is regarded as the Gold Standard diagnostic exam for monitoring pregnancy.
For standard diagnostic ultrasound, there are no known harmful effects on humans. Ultrasound imaging uses no ionizing radiation.
What should I expect BEFORE an Ultrasound?
Continue taking your current medications as normal unless specified by your physician.
Food and drink
If you are having an abdominal ultrasound, you should have been instructed not to eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to your exam. Other ultrasound exams such as pelvic, thyroid, scrotal, and vascular studies do not require any preparation.
When to arrive
Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled exam.
What to wear
Wear comfortable clothing, preferably clothes with no zipper or buttons, such as sweats. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the images. Gowns are available if needed.
What will I experience DURING an Ultrasound?
Ultrasound examinations are painless, fast, and easily tolerated by most patients.
A sonographer, a health care professional specially trained in the use of ultrasound, will apply a gel to the skin over the area being examined. The gel maximizes contact between the transducer and the skin, thereby producing high-quality images. The transducer is moved over the targeted area and obtains the desired diagnostic data. If a Doppler ultrasound study is performed, you may actually hear pulse-like sounds that change in pitch as the blood flow is monitored and measured.
Transvaginal and transrectal ultrasounds are specialized tests that can provide better images than traditional Ultrasound or other diagnostic methods. For these exams, smaller, specially designed transducers may be inserted into the vagina or rectum
Length of an Ultrasound
Depending on the exam being performed Ultrasounds average between 10 and 30 minutes.
What should I expect AFTER an Ultrasound?
After an ultrasound examination, you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.
We understand that quick results are important for our patients. Exams are typically read within 24 hours and results will be sent to your physician who will go over them with you.