Ultrasound is a diagnostic medical imaging technique used to capture live images of the insides of a patient. It uses high-frequency sound waves to produce these images. It is used for various purposes such as in diagnosing causes of pain in the body, to examine a baby in a pregnant woman, to guide biopsies or to assess the damage after a heart attack. The images provided by these tests can help a lot in treating different diseases and conditions.
A Safe Procedure:
The fact that this is the same technology that is used by sonar and radar, which help the military in detecting ships and planes might give the vibes of a dangerous procedure. But it is absolutely important to know that it is a safe, non-invasive and painless procedure. It doesn’t even use ionizing radiation and that’s what makes it the preferred procedure for viewing a developing fetus during pregnancy. Although people usually associate ultrasound with pregnancy, there are many other applications of an ultrasound test.
Your doctor may request for an ultrasound test if you’re having pain, swelling or any other reason which may require having a look at the organs inside your body. Imaging centres or hospitals around the world use the ultrasound device to view different organs like Kidneys, Bladder, Brain, Eyes, Liver or Ovaries. Ultrasound imaging is also known as sonography and is often used interchangeably.
How Is It Performed?
- Before the exam, you will need to change into a hospital gown with a particular part of your body exposed to the ultrasound machine.
- A special lubricating jelly will be applied to that body part by the ultrasound technician also called a sonographer. It is applied to prevent any air pockets that might disturb the images which will be formed.
- Then the technician will hold a handheld device, called a transducer, against that particular body part. This device will send sound waves inside the body and collect the ones that bounce back, and then it will send these signals to a computer.
- These signals form an image in the computer which is then examined by the doctor.
So, you can see that the procedure of an ultrasound test is an easy and painless one. Your doctor will inform you beforehand about the things you need to do before the test. The technician might ask you to remove any jewellery, so it is wise to leave them at home. Next time if you need to have an ultrasound test, don’t worry and be comfortable.