Ultrasound

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 unborn child.


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 paperwork.


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.