Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves to create images of organs and systems within the body. Ultrasound is non- invasive technique used to diagnose a disease or a condition and also may aid in treatment of diseases.
Ultrasonography is a technical term for ultrasound imaging.
The test is performed in the radiology department. You will probably be asked to lie down on table for the procedure. A clear water based conducting gel is applied onto the patients skin to help with the transmission of sound waves. A transducer or probe is being moved over the area being examined. The scan usually takes about 15 minutes. Ultrasound images are viewed on the screen attached to the scanner.
Ultrasound can be used for various purposes including:
Obstetric uses - confirmation of viable pregnancy, detection of developmental or structural abnormalities in the fetus
Non-obstetric uses - diagnosis of gallbladder disease or obstruction, evaluation of blood flow in blood vessels, assessment of thyroid gland
Echocardiography - specialized type of ultrasound used to look at the action and function of the heart. It is used to detect structural and functional abnormalities of the heart wall, valves, and large blood vessels
Doppler echocardiography - it is a recently developed ultrasound technique that indirectly measures the flow velocity of blood as it passes through the heart
Ultrasound may also be used to guide a needle into a cavity that needs to be drained or a mass that needs to be biopsied
Patients are requested to avoid eating and drinking 6 to 8 hours prior to examination, if internal organs such as gall bladder are to be examined.
For examination of baby and womb during pregnancy, the patient is recommended to drink at least four to six glasses of water 1 to 2 hours prior to examination for the purpose of filling the bladder