Ultrasound

Ultrasound examination, also called sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves produce precise images of structures within your body. The images produced during an ultrasound examination provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions. No radiation is used in ultrasound examinations.

Why Ultrasound is Used

Ultrasound is most useful for looking at organs and structures that are either uniform and solid (such as the liver) or fluid-filled (such as the gallbladder). Mineralized structures (such as bones) or air-filled organs (such as the lungs) do not show up well on a sonogram.

You may need to undergo an ultrasound for a variety of reasons. Ultrasounds may be used to:

  • Evaluate a fetus
  • Diagnose gallbladder disease
  • Evaluate flow in blood vessels
  • Guide a needle biopsy
  • Check your thyroid gland
  • Reveal abnormalities in the scrotum
  • Evaluate abnormalities of the muscles and tendons

Preparing for the Exam

Ultrasound preps vary from exam to exam. When scheduling your exam, you will be instructed on the appropriate prep for the exam.

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