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What is it?
Also known as a sonography, Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging method which is harmless to humans. It is used to produce internal images of your body, most popularly for monitoring a developing baby's health during pregnancies, however it also used in a variety of other medical fields such diagnosing gallbladder disease, checking the thyroid gland...
How does it work?
This is a noninvasive procedure, utilizes high-frequency sound waves to generate images of structures within your body. Most ultrasounds are conducted externally to your body; however, some involve placing the device inside your body.
How to prepare
Most ultrasound examinations don’t require any preparation. However, there are a few exceptions. For gallbladder ultrasounds, you may be instructed to avoid eating or drinking before the exam. For pelvic ultrasound, it is essential to avoid urinating before the exam, as it requires a full bladder. Young children may require additional preparation. Therefore, when scheduling an ultrasound, our radiology technologists will advise you on any specific instructions you may need to follow.
As for your clothing, it is advised you wear loose clothing and avoid wearing any jewelry.
What to expect
During the examination
- Gel will be applied on your skin over the area being examined to prevent any air pockets, which may block the sound waves from creating the images. The Radiologist will press a device – the transducer, against the area being examined and move it around to capture the desired images.
- If the Ultrasound is conducted within your body, the transducer will be attached to a probe that's inserted into a natural opening in your body.
- The procedure is painless and may only take 30 minutes - 1 hour
What to expect
- A Radiologist will analyze your images and send a report to your doctor. The next steps will be discussed with your referring Doctor
- You will be able to return back to normal activities immediately after the examination
What are the risks?
Diagnostic ultrasound devices are harmless as they use low-power sound waves to produce images.
There are no known risks but this doesn’t mean there aren’t any limitations. Sound doesn't travel effectively through air or bone, so ultrasound isn't effective at imaging body parts that have gas in them or are hidden by bone, such as the lungs or head.
To view these areas, other imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans may be recommended instead.