Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body 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 into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. There are no known harmful side effects to conservative use of ultrasound. You will experience no side effects after the exam.
Ultrasound Services Offered
- Obstetrical and Gynecological
- Abdomen and Pelvis
- Vascular – including venous & arterial
- Brain in infants
- Hips in infants
Before the Test
- You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. 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.
- Preparations depend on the type of ultrasound you are having:
- Carotid, Thyroid, Breast, Scrotal, Echocardiography: No preparation is required.
- Gallbladder, Liver, Abdominal, Pancreas: No food for 6 hours prior to the exam.
- Pelvis / Bladder Ultrasound: Drink and finish 32 ounces of clear liquids 1 hour prior to exam. Do not urinate.
During the Test
- An ultrasound examination itself is a painless examination.
- During this exam you will normally lay on a comfortable table face-up while the tech moves the ultrasound transducer across your body to interrogate the area of interest ordered by your physician.
- A warm gel will be applied to the transducer so there is no gap between it and your skin.
- The tech may apply a small amount of pressure during scanning to allow for improved visualization of pertinent anatomy.
- You may also be asked to hold your breath.
After the Test
- There are no restrictions after an ultrasound. You should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.
- A report from today’s exam will be sent to your doctor within 24 hours.