Ultrasound

The Acuson Sequoia 512 ultrasound systemcan deliver never-seen-before detail in imaging of small parts, such as breast and subtle pathologies. As a result, our patients are receiving greater care today and in the long term.

Utlrasound studies

  • abdominal
  • pelvis
  • scrotal
  • thyroid
  • carotid doppler
  • venous doppler
  • echocardiogram
  • extremities

Diagnostic Ultrasound, also called sonography is an imaging method uses high frequency sound waves to produce relatively precise images of structures within you body. The images produced during an ultrasound examination often provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases or conditions.

Most ultrasound examinations are done using a transducer outside of your body, though some examinations involve placing a device inside your body.

Why its done:

You may need to undergo an ultrasound for a variety of reasons. Ultrasound may be used, for example, to:

  • Assess a fetus
  • Diagnose gallbladder disease
  • Evaluate flow in blood vessels
  • Evaluate a breast lump
  • Check your thyroid gland
  • Study you heart
  • Diagnose some forms of infections

Doppler Ultrasound

Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive that can be used to measure your bloodflow and blood pressure by bouncing high frequency sound waves off circulating red blood cells. A regular ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images, but can not show blood flow.

A doppler ultrasound may help diagnose many conditions including:

  • blood clots
  • poorly functioning valves in your leg veins, which can cause blood or other fluids to pool in your legs.
  • Heart valve defects and congenital heart disease
  • A blocked artery
  • Decreased blood circulation in your legs
  • Bulging arteries
  • Narrowing of an artery, such as those in your neck (carotid artery)

A doppler ultrasound can estimate how fast blood flows by measuring the rate of change in its frequency. During a doppler ultrasound, a technician presses a small hand held device about the size of a bar of soap, against your skin over the area of your body being examined, moving from one area to another as necessary.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is another ultrasound procedure to produce images of you heart. This procedure is commonly used to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the images from an echocardiogram to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves.

Your doctor may suggest an echocardiogram if he or she suspects problems with the valves or chambers of your heart or your hearts ability to pump. An echocardiogram can also be used to detect congenital heart defects.

Risks

Diagnostic ultrasound, dopplers, and echocardiograms are safe procedures that uses low-power sound waves instead of radiation. There are no direct risks from an ultrasound exam.

How to prepare

How you prepare for an ultrasound depends on which area of your body needs evaluation.

Most ultrasound exams require no preparation.

Other exams-such as of the gallbladder-require that you not eat 6-12 hours before the exam.
Still other exams-such as a pelvic ultrasound, require that you have a full urinary bladder and do not urinate before the exam to ensure that your bladder will be full, allowing better visualization of the uterus and ovaries.

What you can expect

During an ultrasound exam, you will usually be asked to put a gown on and lie on an examination table. A small amount of gel is applied to your skin. The gel helps eliminate the formation of air pockets between the ultrasound probe and you body. During the exam, a small hand held device (transducer), about the size of a bar of soap, against your skin over the area of your body being examined, moving from one area to another a necessary. Ultrasound is usually a painless procedure. However, you may experience some mild discomfort as the sonographer guides the transducer over your body, especially if you are required to have a full bladder. A typical ultrasound exam takes from 30 minutes to an hour.

Results:

Ultrasounds are saved digitally on computers. Digital images can be viewed on screen within minutes of completing the exam. The Radiologist views and interprets the results and will send a final report to your doctor, who will then explain the results to you.

Friday the 21st. Copyright 2012, Three Rivers Hospital