Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is a medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images inside the human body. Medical professionals use ultrasound to check the condition of internal body organs and blood vessels. Below is a short excerpt on ultrasound.
Benefits of ultrasound.
There are various other diagnostic checks that a doctor can use to view internal organs. However, ultrasound is preferred because it is painless. The patient does not require injections or incisions to have an ultrasound. Unlike X-Rays and CT scans, the procedure does not expose the patient to ionising radiation. Ultrasound can capture soft tissue images that other imaging techniques such as X-rays may be unable to capture. Ultrasound scans are considerably faster and cheaper than other kinds of scans.
Uses of ultrasound.
Below are a few uses of ultrasound in the medical field:
- Obstetrics. Doctors use ultrasound imaging to determine the age of the foetus, the due date of the pregnancy, the sex and the position of the baby.
- Diagnostics. Various types of ultrasound such as cranial, carotid, musculoskeletal, thyroid and venous ultrasound can be used to detect anomalies in body organs and tissues.
- Vascular ultrasound can be used to evaluate blood flow and the state of blood vessels.
- Ultrasound helps doctors in performing medical procedures such as biopsies.
- Focused Ultrasound Surgery (FUS) uses sound waves to heat and destroy uterine fibroids.
How to prepare for an ultrasound.
For abdominal ultrasounds, your doctor might ask you not to consume food a few hours before the ultrasound. If you will have a liver, gallbladder or spleen ultrasound, the doctor may ask you to eat a fat-free meal and fast a few hours before the procedure. It is vital that you follow the doctor's instructions to prevent the sound waves from being blocked.
What to expect during an ultrasound.
During an ultrasound examination, the sonographer will ask you to remove clothes and jewellery from the area to be examined. After that, he or she will apply a mineral oil-based jelly on your skin. The substance prevents air pockets from forming on your skin during the examination. He or she then presses a transducer on your skin. The probe takes images of the area, which are then stored in a disk and later printed on paper. If you feel any discomfort during the procedure, alert the sonographer.
Ultrasound is one of the best methods of viewing internal body organs. It is used to detect anomalies and diseases in the human body. The procedure is painless and does not expose you to any risks.