What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body’s internal organs, including but not limited to the heart, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and bladder. An ultrasound exam is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to scan a woman’s abdomen and pelvic cavity, creating a picture (sonogram) of the baby and placenta. Although the terms ultrasound and sonogram are technically different, they are used interchangeably and refer to the same exam.
Preparation for Procedure
Each test has different preparations so contact the facility prior to testing to clarify preparation needs.
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What to Expect During the Ultrasound Test
Most ultrasound examinations are painless, fast and easy. Ultrasound examinations usually take less than 30 minutes. You will lie on your back on an examining table. The technologist will apply the warm gel on your skin and press the transducer firmly against your body, moving it until the desired images are captured.
Advantages of Ultrasound
Ultrasound offers many benefits
- They are generally painless and do not require needles, injections, or incisions.
- Patients aren’t exposed to ionizing radiation, making the procedure safer than diagnostic techniques such as X-rays and CT scans. In fact, there are no known harmful effects when used as directed by your health care provider.
- Ultrasound captures images of soft tissues that don’t show up well on X-rays.
- Ultrasound is widely accessible and less expensive than other methods.
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What About the Results of Ultrasound?
You will be free to leave the facility and resume normal activities as your health permits. A radiologist reads your exam, and the results are reported directly back to your doctor.
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