An ultrasound exam, also known as a sonogram, is a safe, state-of-the-art imaging exam. It uses high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images that differentiate between the body's soft tissues and fluid-filled structures.
Doppler ultrasound can also detect motion, such as the movement of blood cells. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, ultrasound does not use radiation and, therefore, may be used safely during pregnancy.
Our Ultrasound Technologists
Our technologists, or sonographers, are expert in a variety of ultrasound specialties and hold advanced credentials recognized by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Sonographers closely follow a prescription in order to acquire the images that have been ordered by the patient’s doctor. While these images are diagnostic in nature, the sonographer does not personally make the diagnosis.
Why You Would Need an Ultrasound
Ultrasound images allow the physician to view and evaluate veins, arteries and blood flow in the neck, arms, abdomen and legs.
In pregnancy, ultrasound can help determine fetal age and anatomical development. It also may be used to screen a fetus at risk for Down syndrome in the first trimester.
Ultrasound technology is helpful, too, in the area of breast health, when a questionable mammogram finding requires more detailed exploration.
What You Can Expect
Upon your arrival, the ultrasound technologist will show you to a private area where you will discuss your medical history. This is a very good time to ask any questions.
The lights in the exam room will be lowered so the technologist will have a better view of the ultrasound images. A clear, water-based gel will be applied to the part of your body to be scanned. This reduces small amounts of air that can interfere with imaging. Then the technologist will gently rub a smooth, hand-held device called a “transducer” over the area to be examined.
The transducer generates sound waves that enter the body. The returning echoes of these sound waves are transferred back to a computer where they are used to produce live images on a monitor.
Because the images are generated and recorded in real time, they can be used to show the structure and movements of internal organs and muscles. During this time, the patient simply lies still. No special diet or preparation are needed beforehand.