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What is this test?

Sometimes called sonography, ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to create pictures of organs, veins, and arteries, or an unborn baby.

During an ultrasound procedure, our ultrasound  technologists will scan a microphone-like instrument called a transducer over the skin, where it sends sound waves into the body.

The sound waves bounce off of tissue and reflect back to the transducer, where they are recorded and displayed as real-time images.

Ultrasounds are commonly used during pregnancy to monitor the growth and development of a baby. They are also used to evaluate the body’s circulatory system by helping to monitor blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body.

This can help physicians locate abnormalities in various organs, narrowed arteries, clotted veins, or growths such as tumors or cysts.

How the test is performed

An ultrasound machine sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives the waves and uses them to create a picture.

Unlike with an x-ray or CT scan, this test does not use ionizing radiation.

The test is done in the ultrasound or radiology department.

  • You will lie down for the test.
  • An ultrasound technologists will apply a clear, water-based gel to the skin. The gel helps with the transmission of the sound waves.
  • A handheld probe called a transducer moves over the area, recording the image. You may need to change positions to enable examination of other areas.

Most procedures take 30 minutes to an hour.

Types of ultrasound tests

  • Ultrasound pregnancy
  • Duplex ultrasound
  • Pelvic ultrasound - abdominal
  • Doppler ultrasound exam of an arm or leg
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Breast biopsy - ultrasound
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Eye and orbir ultrasound

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