What Is an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure that produces pictures of internal organs using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel then into the body. The transducer collects the sound and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image.
Benefits of an Ultrasound
Ionizing radiation, that is typically used in x-rays, is not used during ultrasound examinations, therefore, there is no radiation exposure to the patient. Additionally, the lack of radiation means that patients will not experience any side effects. An ultrasound also captures images in real-time, allowing doctors to see the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
Ultrasound Services Offered
- Abdomen and Pelvis
- Brain in infant
- Hips in infants
- Obstetrical and Gynecological
- Vascular – including venous & arterial
Preparing for an Ultrasound
The preparation for an ultrasound varies based on the location of the imaging. All patients will likely have to remove jewelry or clothing and be provided a gown before the procedure begins. More specific preparations depend on the type of ultrasound you are having such as:
- Carotid, Thyroid, Breast, Scrotal, Echocardiography: No preparation is required.
- Gallbladder, Liver, Abdominal, Pancreas: No food for 6 hours prior to the exam.
- Pelvis and Bladder Ultrasound: Drink 32 ounces of clear liquids 1 hour prior to the exam. Do not urinate.
The Ultrasound Procedure
During an ultrasound exam, patients will normally lay on a comfortable table face-up and a warm gel will be applied to the transducer. Technicians use the gel so there is no gap between the transducer and your skin. The ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of pressure and move the ultrasound transducer across the patient’s body. The transducer then relays the sound waves from the body to the computer, producing real-time results.
The ultrasound exam typically takes 30 – 60 minutes to complete. Patients should be able to return to their normal daily activities immediately. Summit Healthcare will send the results of your ultrasound to your doctor within 24 hours. They will then reach out to discuss your results and any other information you may need.