Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain an image of various organs and tissues in the body. It is a painless and safe procedure. Ultrasound produces very precise images of your soft tissues (heart, blood vessels, uterus, bladder, etc.) and reveals internal motions such as heart beat and blood flow.
It can detect diseased or damaged tissues, locate abnormal growths and identify a wide variety of changing conditions, and it is sometimes used for guidance in certain surgical procedures. Ultrasound is probably best known for its use in checking the development of babies while they are still inside the mother's womb.
Preparing for Your Ultrasound
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Follow all instructions received prior to the examination.
- Avoid soft drinks before the exam. Bubbles from the carbonation may interfere with the image.
What Will the Exam Be Like?
The individual who will perform your ultrasound is known as a sonographer. This technologist is highly skilled and educated and works under the supervision of a radiologist, a physician trained in interpreting the results of an ultrasound exam.
The technologist will assist you onto the examination table, and a slippery gel will be applied to the area that will be examined. This gel helps the sound waves pass from the ultrasound probe into your body. The ultrasound probe will be moved slowly over the body part being imaged. The only thing you'll feel is the slight pressure and movement of the probe.
It's important that you remain still and relaxed during the procedure. The ultrasound images will appear on a monitor similar to a TV screen, and they are recorded either on paper or film for a detailed study.
You may resume normal activities immediately following your exam.