Ultrasound ( Sonography or Ultrasonography ) is a medical diagnostic test which makes use of high frequency sound waves along with a computer to take out images of organs, tissues as well as blood vessels. What happens in Ultrasound ( Sonography or Ultrasonography ) test is that the sound waves tend to bounce off the body parts on which they are projected and thus send back images which help doctors diagnose the problem. The process works on various organs including breasts, pelvic area, prostate, thyroid, scrotum and vascular system.
Ultrasound devices operate with frequencies from 20 kHz up to several gigahertz. Besides medicine, Ultrasound ( Sonography or Ultrasonography ) is used in several other fields as well. For example, the ultrasonic devices are put into use to measure distances as well as detect objects. It is also used in nondestructive tests made on structures and objects, in several industries for mixing, cleaning and other processes.
There are various kinds of Ultrasound/Sonography diagnostic tests and some include the following: Ultrasonography ( USG ) ABDOMEN 3D/4D, Sonography ABDOMEN 3D/4D, Ultrasonography ( USG ) AMNIOTIC FLUID INDEX, Sonography AMNIOTIC FLUID INDEX and Ultrasound AMNIOTIC FLUID INDEX.
The following are some steps that are to be taken in order to prepare for an Ultrasound ( Sonography or Ultrasonography ) test:
Usually, doctors ask people to fast for about 8 to 12 hours before their ultrasound test and especially if the ultrasound is of the abdomen. This is requested to avoid blockage of sound waves due to undigested food.
For the Ultrasound of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder or spleen etc, one is asked to eat a meal that is fat free on the evening before the test is to be performed.
For other types of Ultrasound tests, one is asked to drink a lot of water and hold the urine so that the bladder is full and thus better images are obtained.
One is also asked to inform the doctor about illnesses, injuries, overall medical condition, prescription drugs and other medical history.
Most ultrasound exams are painless, fast and easily tolerated.
Ultrasound exams in which the transducer is inserted into an opening of the body may produce minimal discomfort.
If a Doppler ultrasound study is performed, you may actually hear pulse-like sounds that change in pitch as the blood flow is monitored and measured.
Most ultrasound examinations are completed within 30 minutes, although more extensive exams may take up to an hour.
When the examination is complete, you may be asked to dress and wait while the ultrasound images are reviewed.
After an ultrasound examination, you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.
Although there are no major risks involved when it comes to Ultrasound tests, it could produce potential biological effects in the body.
The ultrasound waves can potentially heat tissues in the body and in some rare cases it has been found that the test tends to produce small pockets of gas in the body tissues or fluids.
The following is a list of some of the most common uses of Ultrasound or Sonography test:
Ultrasound ( Sonography or Ultrasonography ) for Pelvic scans: These types of Ultrasound scans are used in case of women suffering from pelvic pain. It also proves useful in case of women who have fibroids, abnormal periods, cysts and other kinds of problems related to the reproductive system.
Ultrasound ( Sonography or Ultrasonography ) for Abdominal scans: These types of Ultrasound scans are used to diagnose vomiting, nausea, abnormal sounds, pain and lumps. In these scans, various organs and parts may be checked and they are gall bladder, liver, pancreas, bile ducts, kidneys, spleen and large blood vessels etc.
Ultrasound ( Sonography or Ultrasonography ) for Pregnancy scans: Various Ultrasound scans are done during pregnancy and these are done to check for fetal abnormalities, fetal growth and development, health condition and position and age as well.
Other uses of Ultrasound ( Sonography or Ultrasonography ): Some other uses of Ultrasound scans include breast scans, musculoskeletal scans, eye scans to check the respective condition of these parts. Doppler Ultrasound is a special kind of an Ultrasound test which helps detect speed and direction of blood flow in some parts of the body like the legs veins and arteries.
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 the:
- heart and blood vessels, including the abdominal aorta and its major branches
- uterus, ovaries, and unborn child (fetus) in pregnant patients
- thyroid and parathyroid glands
- scrotum (testicles)
- brain in infants
- hips in infants
- spine in infants
Ultrasound was first developed for industry?not for medicine! The first ultrasound machines measured flaws in metal castings in the 1940?s.
- The first time ultrasound was used in medicine was in 1942, when an Austrian neurologist named Karl Theo Dussick and his brother imaged the ventricles of the brain.
- Ultrasound waves are too high for humans to hear, but they are within the range of what dogs and cats can hear.
- One of the smallest ultrasound transducers is small enough to fit into a blood vessel.
- 3D ultrasound imaging can make live, moving images of a beating heart.
- Ultrasound can determine the sex of a fetus as early as 18-20 weeks.
- Veterinarians use diagnostic ultrasound for their animal patients.
- Ultrasound is not good at penetrating the bone. For this reason, it only has very limited use on the brain (because the cranium is in the way).
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