Ultrasound imaging, or sonography, is the use of high frequency sound waves to produce images of various structures of the body. Ultrasound is painless and safe. A machine emits an ultra-high frequency sound wave from the transducer. This sound wave passes into the body and an echo pattern is returned after the sound wave has interacted with tissues in the body. Images of the body areas scanned are created. No radiation is used with this technique. No X-rays or radiation are used. No adverse effects have been found on human beings with the safe use of ultrasound for medical imaging.
Ultrasound is used to evaluate the fetus in pregnant women as well as to study structures in the abdomen such as the liver, spleen, gall bladder, and kidneys. It is also used to study the uterus, ovaries, and breasts. Specialized computers within the equipment analyze the patterns of the echoes returned. Soft tissue regions of the extremities can also be evaluated. Ultrasound is particularly important in evaluating obstetrical patients.
The study is performed by a trained technologist and/or physician. Gel is placed on the skin overlying the area to be scanned, and a scanning probe or transducer is slid over the skin to image the underlying structures. The probe emits ultrasound waves into the body, and the waves that reflect back to the probe are converted to an image by a computer. These images are recorded and interpreted by a physician who issues a report to your doctor.
- Infant hips
- Rectal cancer staging
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy of the breast, prostate, and thyroid
- Full range of general diagnostic sonography
- Male pelvis/testicular
- Ultrasound guided prostate and thyroid glands