What is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound produces images of soft tissue and organs in the body through the use of sound waves that reflect back and are displayed as a real-time image. Ultrasound can detect diseased or damaged tissues, locate abnormal growths and identify a wide variety of conditions, enabling the radiologist to make a quick and accurate diagnosis.

 

This is the same principal used to track weather patterns and to guide air traffic.  Ionizing radiation (X-ray) is not used in ultrasound making it a safe alternative for imaging pregnant women.

 

Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, utilizes high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

 

What To Expect

Ultrasound examination is performed by a sonographer - a technologist trained in ultrasound imaging. The sonographer applies a hypo-allergenic, water-soluble gel to prevent air from getting between your skin and the transducer, a small probe resembling a bar of soap.

 

The sonographer then gently passes the transducer over the skin of the area being examined, producing a sensation of light pressure. The transducer generates and receives the high-frequency sound waves. The computer in the ultrasound unit processes and converts the resulting patterns into detailed images.

During the examination, please relax, remain still when asked and follow other instructions. The examination results will be evaluated by one of our radiologists who has expertise in interpreting sonograms. The results will be sent to your referring physician within one to two working days.

 

Side effects and complications

No side effects or complications are associated with ultrasound examinations.

 

How To Prepare

Preparation is specific for each procedure. Some ultrasound exams require no preparation, while others require patients to cease eating and drinking for up to 8 hours before the exam. Some ultrasound exams require a full bladder. Please refer to the chart below for information regarding your particular examination:

 

 

Prep Guide

Abdomen

Gallbladder

Aorta

Nothing by mouth 8 hrs prior to your exam. Medication may be taken with a small amount of water.

No gum or hard candies.

 

Pelvic

Renal/ Bladder

You are required to finish drinking 32 oz (6-7 glasses) of water 1 hour prior to your exam.

DO NOT urinate prior to the completion of the exam.

 

Obstetrical

You are required to finish drinking 32 oz (6-7 glasses) of water 1 hour prior to your exam.

 DO NOT urinate prior to the completion of the exam.

 

Transvaginal

Ob transvaginal

No preparation is required

 

Breast Ultrasound

Age 30+

You are recommended to have a mammogram with or before your ultrasound procedure. You are REQUIRED to bring your previous breast radiology films or reports.

 

Breast Ultrasound

Age 29 or younger

No preparation is required.

 

Please note:

Guests/visitors/family members are not permitted in the examination room during the technical portion of the sonographic examination. However, if time permits and at the technologists discretion, guests may be allowed in the room following the technical portion of OB examinations only.

 

If you are here for a STAT examination, absolutely no guests/ visitors/family members are permitted in the examination room during any portion of the exam and may be seated in the Waiting room.

 

No guests are permitted in the room for OB –14 weeks or trans-vaginal exams.

 

Please be aware that you will be having a medical procedure and only patients are allowed in the room during the examination.

Please do not bring unattended children to the exam.