What is an Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a type of imaging technology that uses high-frequency sound
waves to create images of organs, tissue or blood flow within the body.
It is often used to evaluate structures within the digestive, reproductive
and urinary tract. Ultrasound has been a safe imaging tool for more than
two decades and, unlike other medical imaging techniques, does not expose
a patient to ionizing radiation.
Types of Ultrasound and Related Preparation
An abdominal ultrasound visualizes at the gallbladder, kidneys, liver,
pancreas, and spleen. It also includes a view of the abdominal aorta (the
major blood vessel that carries blood to the lower half of the body).
For this exam you will be instructed to not have anything to eat or drink
for six hours prior to the appointment.
You may take your prescribed medication with water.
Obstetrical/Fetal and Pelvic Ultrasound
An obstetrical ultrasound exam is performed when a patient is pregnant
and looks at the uterus, ovaries, and fetus. The fetus is visualized and
measurements are obtained to be sure that its size is appropriate for
A pelvic ultrasound in females looks primarily at the uterus and ovaries,
but the bladder may also be visualized. In males, the pelvic ultrasound
usually focuses on the bladder and the prostate gland.
For this exam you will be instructed to drink three 8 ounce glasses of
water, finishing all the water one hour before your appointment time.
The ultrasound will be performed with your bladder full to help produce
the highest quality images. An endovaginal pelvic ultrasound may be performed after.
A vascular ultrasound exam looks at the blood vessels to see whether there
are any areas of narrowing or blockage. The vessels most frequently examined
are in the neck, arms, and legs.
For this exam no specific preparation is necessary.
Other Types of Ultrasound Exams
Ultrasound may also be used to examine the breasts, kidneys, scrotum and
What to Expect During an Ultrasound Exam
When you report for your exam, you may be asked to wear a gown. This is
done primarily to protect your clothes from the ultrasound gel that will
be applied to the skin overlying the area to be examined.
You will be asked to lie on an examination table next to the ultrasound
scanner. Although the machine may appear complex to you, it will be operated
by a skilled and experienced sonographer who has been specially educated
and trained in the use of ultrasound examination equipment. After the
gel is applied, a hand-held instrument called a transducer will be guided
slowly across your skin.
The procedure is painless with no short or long term side effects. It is
also quick, with most ultrasound studies usually completed in less than
How Will You Learn About Your Results?
The ultrasound technologist will not give you the test results directly,
as the images still need to be reviewed by a radiologist. After reviewing
the study, the radiologist will send an official report to your physician,
who can then discuss the results with you.
Schedule an Appointment
We make it easy to schedule an imaging appointment.
Fine Needle Aspiration
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) is a simple and easy procedure to obtain a
sample of cells from a nodule for diagnosis.