Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the body. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as the blood flowing through blood vessels.
Most ultrasound examinations are painless, fast and easy. Ultrasound imaging is based on the same principles involved in the sonar used by bats, ships and fishermen. When a sound wave strikes an object, it bounces back, or echos. By measuring these echo waves it is possible to determine how far away the object is and its size, shape, and consistency. In medicine, ultrasound is used to detect changes in appearance of organs, tissues, and vessels or detect abnormal masses, such as tumors.
Ultrasound examinations can help to diagnose a variety of conditions and to assess organ damage following illness.
Ultrasound is used to help physicians evaluate symptoms such as:
Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body’s internal organs, including but not limited to:
- Uterus and Ovaries
- Scrotum (testicles)
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send assigned report to your primary care physician or the physician who referred you for the exam, who will share the results with you.
Benefits of an ultrasound include:
- Most are noninvasive(no needles or injections) and is usually painless
- Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging methods
- Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-ray images
There are no known risks for standard diagnostic ultrasounds.