Ultrasound Imaging, also known as Sonography and Ultrasound scanning, is designed to help doctors and imaging specialists see inside the body using high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves travel through the body and, with the ultrasound equipment, form real-time images that depict internal structures, the movement of blood transfer through blood vessels, and even the movement of internal organs. Because Ultrasounds use sound waves instead of an x-ray's ionizing radiation, they are considered completely noninvasive. The exams are also quick and pain-free. Most exams are completed in under 30 minutes.
Although Ultrasounds are most commonly known for their uses in pregnancy, these valuable exams are also used to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions. It is often one of the first tools doctors request when patients present with symptoms of an unknown origin, including infection, pain and swelling in various areas of the body. This may be because Ultrasound can be used to view the structures and blood flow of the most vital systems in the body, without the potential exposure to radiation associated with other imaging techniques. Some of the most frequently examined structures include:
- Pregnancy & Foetus
- Scrotum and Testis
It is often vital for doctors to get a clear picture of how the body's circulatory system is working. An ultrasound scan of blood vessels can help identify blood clots as well as blockages in the arteries and veins. One of the main tools used in this exam is a doppler ultrasound study, which evaluates the rate of blood flow through specific blood vessels, which may be used to evaluate blood flow to vital organs. Sonography can also be used to do the following:
- Locate and identify enlarged arteries that may turn into aneurysms
- Detect blood clots in the veins of the arms and legs (Deep Vein Thrombosis DVT)
- Determine success of graft(s) and bypass procedures
- Evaluate patient candidacy for various procedures, such as angioplasty
- Determine the severity of varicose veins
- Help place needles or catheters in children and adults
- Evaluate congenital vascular malformations and dialysis fistula in children and adults
An Ultrasound exam is completely noninvasive, so it requires almost no preparation. You should simply wear comfortable clothing that allows for easy access to the area being evaluated. In some cases, you may be asked to completely remove your clothing and wear a patient gown instead. It may be best to leave all your jewelry at home. You may be asked not to eat or drink for 4-6 hours for an Abdominal Ultrasound. You may be asked to drink 32 oz of water 1-2 hours prior to a Pelvic Ultrasound.
During an Ultrasound scan, the technologist will use a handheld transducer to send and receive sound waves, like a bat uses sonar. This transducer is small and may be referred to as a wand. Your technician will place a thick layer of gel on the examined area to assist in the transfer of the sound waves, and will simply roll the transducer back and forth across the skin until he or she has the required data.
Mansfield Medical Imaging is proud to be known as one of the best Imaging Centers in the area for both customer service and results. Contact our office at 682-518-1234 to schedule your Ultrasound or other Imaging exam today.
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