Ultrasound imaging provides physicians with valuable data that facilitates the accurate diagnosis of various health conditions. Ultrasound may also be performed to monitor the status of existing status.
What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a form of diagnostic imaging. The image that is produced through sound frequency is called a sonogram. The sound waves that enable us to capture images of internal structures are too high to be heard by the human ear. The frequencies emitted echo off of organs and other tissues, providing a clear image for interpretation by a radiologist. For instance, an ultrasound may be performed to determine if gallstones exist in the gallbladder. If stones are present, sound waves will echo back after “hitting” them. This will be displayed on the monitor for the technologist to record. Sonograms are interpreted by a radiologist, who provides a written report to the referring physician.
Why is ultrasound performed?
Ultrasound can also be used to identify abdominal, kidney, heart, or liver conditions. Ultrasound may detect tumors and other abnormal masses, and may be used to assess changes in organ contours, size, or appearance.
How is ultrasound performed?
Most ultrasound examinations are performed with the patient lying face-up in a comfortable position. If necessary for higher-quality images, the patient will be turned to one side or the other.
After proper position has been attained, water-based gel is applied to the skin. This enables the sonographer to maintain contact with the body in order to successfully direct sound waves to the appropriate area. A transducer, which is a small hand piece, is set into the gel and moved across the target site to capture the images needed. Only slight pressure is needed to maintain contact between the hand piece and the skin, so ultrasound is typically a painless procedure. In some situations, mild tenderness may occur. When images have been recorded, the skin is wiped clean and the patient is free to leave the facility.
Ultrasound may be performed in a number of ways. Above, the standard ultrasound procedure has been explained. In some instances, ultrasound imaging is achieved with a different probe rather than the conventional hand piece. This type of imaging may include transvaginal ultrasound, where the sanitized and covered probe is inserted into the vaginal cavity. This is to attain a closer look at the pelvic organs.
Preparation may be required for your exam. Please contact our facility to inquire.
Types of ultrasound at GO Imaging
At GO Imaging, we provide high quality traditional ultrasound, this analyzes internal organs for size, texture, or abnormalities. It can look at masses, cysts, or nodules. We also offer Doppler Ultrasound.
Doppler ultrasound is a technique through which blood vessels can be evaluated. Various types of doppler ultrasound enable clinicians to:
- Measure data such as the direction and speed of blood flow through vessels.
- Measure blood flow in detail, including distance travelled per second (or other unit of time).
“Duplex Ultrasound” is a mixture of both traditional and Doppler Ultrasound.
Benefits of Ultrasound vs. X-ray, MRI, and CT scan
We assist referring physicians with their patient-care needs, offering detailed information as needed to ascertain the most appropriate imaging technique for the outlined objective. Reasons that physicians may choose ultrasound imaging over other techniques include:
- Soft-tissue may be clearer against ultrasound than x-ray.
- Ultrasound is an optimal imaging technique for pregnant women.
- The real-time imaging obtained through ultrasound makes it well-suited to medical procedures.
- Patient comfort is high with ultrasound imaging.
- Most ultrasounds can be completed within 30 to 60 minutes.
- Normal activity can be resumed immediately following ultrasound.
- Blood Flow velocity can be seen in real time and documented using ultrasound.
We are happy to speak with you about our radiology facilities and services. Contact us in Humble or Houston for prompt assistance.