What is an Ultrasound?
Ultrasound uses sound waves and a computer to create images of internal organs and blood vessels and to monitor many medical conditions, including the progress of pregnancy.
- A tool called a transducer that emits sound waves is placed over the area of the body being examined.
- The sound waves bounce off these structures and their echoes are received by the transducer, which then sends the information to a computer.
- The computer analyzes the information and creates a moving image.
- This procedure is painless and non-invasive.
Diagnostic ultrasound has many uses, including the evaluation of tumors and bone structure and in interventional radiology.When is an Ultrasound used?
- Ultrasound has a wide range of applications:
- It helps clinicians assess the organs and blood vessels in the abdomen (liver, kidneys, spleen, gallbladder, bile ducts, aorta and pancreas).
- It also helps in evaluating organs in the pelvic area (uterus, ovaries, bladder, and prostate).
- The breast, thyroid, scrotum or any other soft tissue mass can be assessed using ultrasound, as can arteries and veins in the neck, abdomen and legs.
Here are some examples of ultrasound study types and their purpose:
- Doppler ultrasound (to visualize blood flow through a blood vessel).
- Fetal ultrasound (to view the fetus in pregnancy).
- Ultrasound-guided biopsies.
- Doppler fetal heart rate monitors (to listen to the fetal heart beat).