What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. We use ultrasounds to capture real-time images of the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flow through blood vessels.
Ultrasound imaging tests for pregnancy
The type of ultrasound imaging test most patients are familiar with is fetal ultrasound. We use ultrasounds during pregnancy to evaluate the health of an unborn baby inside the mother’s womb. We use another type of ultrasound called a biophysical profile to monitor a baby’s health in the last trimester of pregnancy.
Ultrasound imaging tests for other conditions
Ultrasounds can give us information about many health conditions. Some of the types of ultrasounds we offer include:
- Abdominal ultrasound, which helps us diagnose conditions like abdominal masses, gallstones, kidney stones, or liver disease.
- Aortic ultrasound, which produces images of the abdominal aorta (the largest artery in the abdomen).
- Bladder ultrasound, which we use to diagnose conditions like bladder inflammation, bladder obstruction, and bladder masses (both cancerous and noncancerous).
- Breast ultrasound, which we use to evaluate whether a breast lump is solid or filled with fluid.
- Extremity nonvascular ultrasound, which provides images of the arms or legs.
- Infant hip ultrasound, which our pediatric orthopedics specialists use to diagnose developmental hip dislocation in babies.
- Infant spinal canal ultrasound, which we use to diagnose different problems with the spinal cord in babies, such as spinal cancer.
- Neonatal head ultrasound, which produces images of a newborn baby’s brain.
- Paracentisis, a procedure that uses ultrasound to guide the placement of a catheter to drain fluid in the abdomen.
- Pelvic ultrasound, which helps us diagnose problems like fibroids and disorders of the ovaries.
- Prostate ultrasound, which gives us information about conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, and prostate cancer.
- Pylorus ultrasound, which produces images of the opening between the stomach and the small intestine.
- Renal ultrasound, which creates images of the kidneys and bladder.
- Soft-tissue mass ultrasound, which helps us diagnose problems like cysts (fluid-filled pockets of tissue) and lipomas.
- Testicular ultrasound, which creates images of the scrotum and testicles.
- Thyroid fine-needle aspiration and thyroid core biopsy, image-guided procedures to locate thyroid gland tissues for testing.
- Thyroid ultrasound, which produces images of the thyroid to help us diagnose thyroid disorders.
- Transvaginal ultrasound, which gives us detailed views of the uterus, the uterine lining, and the ovaries. We perform this test for certain types of infertility, pelvic pain, and abnormal vaginal bleeding and menstrual problems.
What can I expect during my ultrasound?
All of our locations are accredited by the American College of Radiology, and all of our ultrasound technicians (sonographers) are registered with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
We conduct most ultrasounds by applying a warm gel to the skin and passing a special probe over the area being scanned. We may need to insert a probe into the body for some ultrasounds. Your doctor and sonographer will go over the details with you before your test.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions before your test, including dietary restrictions. Some ultrasounds require a full bladder so the sonographer can get a clear view during your test, so you may have to wait to urinate until after your ultrasound.