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What is an Ultrasound Exam

What is an Ultrasound Exam?

An Ultrasound Examination is an imaging method that uses high frequency sound waves to produce precise images of anatomical structures within your body. Ultrasound also called Sonography is valuable in diagnosing a variety of diseases and conditions. Most ultrasound exams are done using a sonar devise outside your body, though some exams involve placing a devise inside the body (invasive ultrasound).  Ultrasound is a safe procedure. There are no direct risks from a diagnostic ultrasound exam.

Why It’s Done

Ultrasound may be used to do the following:

  • Evaluate a fetus
  • Diagnose gallbladder disease
  • Evaluate flow in blood vessels
  • Guide a needle biopsy
  • Check your thyroid gland
  • Reveal and evaluate anatomical structures.

How you prepare

Some ultrasound examinations require no prep at all. Others require you forgo food and liquids while still others require you to drink liquids. When scheduling your ultrasound exam, ask your doctor for specific instructions for your particular exam.

What you can expect

During an ultrasound exam, you will be asked to lie on an examination table. A technician will apply a small amount of gel directly on your skin while using a hand held devise called a transducer. The transducer is moved from one area to collecting information. Despite its valuable uses, Ultrasound has limitations. Sound does not travel through air or bone for these we use other imaging modalities. When your exam is complete, the sonographer or technician and a radiologist generally view the ultrasound images and send a report of the findings to your doctor.