Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians
diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Ultrasound imaging uses a transducer or probe to generate sound waves and
produce pictures of the body's internal structures. It does not use
ionizing radiation, has no known harmful effects, and provides a clear
picture of soft tissues that don't show up well on x-ray images. Ultrasound
is often used to help diagnose unexplained pain, swelling and infection.
It may also be used to provide imaging guidance to needle biopsies or
to see and evaluate conditions related to blood flow. In addition, it
is the preferred imaging method for monitoring a pregnant woman and her
How to prepare:
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may need to remove all clothing
and jewelry in the area to be examined.
- You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.
- Preparation for the procedure will depend on the type of examination you
will have. For some scans your doctor may instruct you not to eat or drink
for as many as 12 hours before your appointment. For others you may be
asked to drink up to six glasses of water two hours prior to your exam
and avoid urinating so that your bladder is full when the scan begins.
- A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret
radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report
to your primary care or referring physician, who will discuss the results with you.
- Arrive 30 minutes prior to appointment time to register and complete necessary
What to expect:
- Most ultrasound exams are painless, fast and easily tolerated.
- 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.
- Most ultrasound examinations are completed within 30 minutes, although
more extensive exams may take up to an hour.
- Results will be sent to the referring physician within 24-48 hours.