Ultrasound: The Most Widely Used Diagnostic Tool

Ultrasounds are one of the most important diagnostic tools that enable healthcare professionals to detect a wide range of medical conditions that are otherwise not visible to the naked eye. These imaging tests provide accurate details for the assessment of internal structures to plan the further course of action.

West New York ultrasounds offer state-of-the-art visual images to provide enhanced patient satisfaction. 

What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasound, also known as sonography or ultrasonography, is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging test. Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images or videos of internal structures like organs, soft tissues, and blood vessels. 

The ultrasound probe converts electric current into sound waves, which vibrate at 20,000 times per second, creating a sound that is not audible to the human ear. When the sound waves reach the internal organs they are reflected to the ultrasound machine, creating electronic images based on the sound echoes. 

Ultrasound scans do not use ionizing radiation like X-rays or CT scans, thus they are absolutely safe, and highly recommended during pregnancy. 

When is an ultrasound recommended?

Ultrasound is often recommended to visualize internal organs, blood vessels, and thyroid glands, unlike X-ray and CT scans which can reproduce hard structures like bone. 

Ultrasound is indicated for the following conditions:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Scrotal pain
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Pregnancy confirmation
  • Monitoring the baby’s development during pregnancy
  • Detect any congenital abnormalities 
  • Blood clots anywhere in the body
  • Narrowing of arteries
  • Lumps in your thyroid gland
  • Detect renal calculi

Ultrasounds are also used to guide doctors in certain procedures like sample collection from cysts, or any other tissue. 

How to prepare yourself for an ultrasound?

Preparation depends on the type of ultrasound required.

  • For ultrasounds of the pelvis, and during pregnancy you are advised to come with a full bladder by drinking water.
  • For an ultrasound of the abdomen, you may need to fast for a couple of hours before the test.

However, your medical team will provide the necessary preparation to be done according to your individual health concern. 

How is an ultrasound performed?

Ultrasound is a non-invasive, painless procedure that follows these general steps:

  • You will lie on a padded bed comfortably on your back
  • Your ultrasound doctor or specialist will apply a lubricating gel on your skin over the area to be examined. The gel ensures good contact between the probe and your skin. 
  • Your doctor will use a hand-held probe and move gently over the skin to obtain multiple images of your internal organs.
  • These moving images provide the doctor with valuable information that helps to diagnose or evaluate your condition. 

Make sure you get an ultrasound from a well-experienced professional (sonographer) to prevent any errors while diagnosing a medical condition through these images. 

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