What is Ultrasonography?
Ultrasonography, also called ultrasound or sonography, is a technique that uses high frequency sound waves to produce pictures of various organs and tissues in the body. The sound waves are produced by a hand-held device called a transducer. Much like sonar, the sound waves bounce off the organs of the body and are converted into pictures. Ultrasound is a highly sophisticated, safe, and painless technique.
Ultrasonography can provide your doctor with information about your internal organs, such as the liver, gallbladder, and kidneys. It can be used to look at arteries and veins. One of the more well known uses of ultrasound is for imaging the unborn child.
How do I prepare for my ultrasound examination?
If you are scheduled for an abdominal exam, you will be instructed not to eat or drink for at least six hours prior to your testing. If you are scheduled for a pelvic or obstetrical exam, you will be instructed to drink 40 ounces of clear fluid one hour prior to your exam and not to urinate. While uncomfortable, a full bladder helps to enhance the ultrasound image of the pelvic organs. If your bladder is not full at the time of the exam, the test may be delayed while you drink more water. No preparation is needed for vascular exams.
What can I expect during my ultrasound exam?
For some exams you will be asked to change into a gown. The sonographer, a registered technologist with specialized training in ultrasound, will discuss the procedure with you and answer any questions you might have.
You will lie on an examination table next to the ultrasound scanner. A special gel will be applied to the area of your body to be examined. The sonographer will then take the transducer and slowly guide it across your skin in the area to be examined. The sonographer will watch the corresponding image which appears on a TV monitor. Pictures will be taken periodically for further study. The exam takes approximately 20 to 60 minutes.
The sonographer will show your examination to the radiologist, and additional images will be obtained if needed.
What will happen following my ultrasound exam?
After your ultrasound exam, you may resume your normal activities, diet, and medications unless instructed otherwise by the technologist or your doctor. There are no after effects from the exam.
Your examination will be reviewed by the radiologist after the exam has been completed. If you choose OnSite Results, your preliminary results will be given to you before you leave our office. Your physician will be sent a detailed final report by fax or mail.