Also called as sonography, ultrasound is a medical test utilized to get live photos of the body’s interior with the use of high-frequency sound waves. With the help of ultrasound, the doctors can assess issues with vessels, tissues, and organs without the requirement of an incision. As ultrasound does not use radiation, it is one of the preferred techniques for observing the growth of the fetus in pregnancy.
Why is an ultrasound performed?
Most of the time, ultrasound scans are linked to pregnancy as it offers the expecting mother to observe her unborn baby for the first time through it; however, it has many other applications too. Ultrasound can be recommended when your doctor suspects you to have swelling, pain, or other indications that may need an internal visualization of your organs. The ultrasound can be used to get a view of bladder, eyes, kidneys, gallbladder, brain (in infants), liver, pancreas, ovaries, spleen, testicles, uterus, thyroid, and blood vessels. It can be also useful in directing the surgeons about their movements while performing specific medical processes such as biopsies.
How is an ultrasound performed?
The person to be examined is asked to wear the hospital gown and then to lie down, with a part of the body exposed for examination, on a table. The sonographer applies a specific lubricating gel onto the person’s skin in order to avoid friction and smoothly rub the ultrasound transducer onto the skin. The appearance of the transducer is similar to a microphone and the jelly aids in transmitting the sound waves. High-frequency sound waves are sent through the body via the transducer that echoes on hitting a dense matter such as bone or organ. The echoes are then reproduced on a computer. An image is obtained that can be used by the doctor to interpret the condition of the organs.
The complete procedure takes less than 30 minutes dependent on the part being examined. After the examination, the doctor will study the photos and accordingly assess for any possible abnormality. After an ultrasound, the individual can get back to their normal activities.