Ultrasound Exam in South Florida
An ultrasound machine creates images that allow various organs in the body to be examined. The machine sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives these reflected waves and uses them to create a picture. Unlike with an x-ray or CT scan, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with this test.
The test is done in the ultrasound or radiology department. Patients will be lying down for the procedure. A clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the skin over the area being examined to help with the transmission of the sound waves. A handheld probe called a transducer is moved over the area being examined. Patients may be asked to change position so that other areas can be examined.
Uses of Ultrasound Tests
Ultrasound imaging has many uses in medicine, from confirming and dating a pregnancy to diagnosing certain conditions and guiding doctors through precise medical procedures.
Pregnancy – Ultrasound images have many uses during pregnancy. Early on, they may be used to determine due dates, reveal the presence of twins or other multiples, and rule out ectopic pregnancies. They also are valuable screening tools in helping to detect potential problems, including birth defects, placental issues, breech positioning, and others. Many expectant parents look forward to learning the sex of their babies via ultrasound midway through a pregnancy. And later in pregnancy, doctors can even use ultrasounds to estimate how large a baby is just before delivery.
Diagnostics – Doctors employ ultrasound imaging in diagnosing a wide variety of conditions affecting the organs and soft tissues of the body, including the heart and blood vessels, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, uterus, ovaries,eyes, thyroid, and testicles. Ultrasounds do have some diagnostic limitations, however; sound waves do not transmit well through dense bone or parts of the body that may hold air or gas, such as the bowel.
Use during medical procedures – Ultrasound imaging can help doctors during procedures such as needle biopsies, which require the doctor to remove tissue from a very precise area inside the body for testing in a lab.
Therapeutic applications – Ultrasounds sometimes are used to detect and treat soft-tissue injuries.
Benefits of Ultrasound
Ultrasounds offer many advantages:
- Patients aren’t exposed to ionizing radiation
- Safer than diagnostic techniques such as X-rays and CT scans.
- Ultrasounds are widely accessible and less expensive than other methods.
- Ultrasound captures images of soft tissues that don’t show up well on X-rays.
- No known harmful effects when used as directed by your health care provider.
- They are generally painless and do not require needles, injections, or incisions.
At Fox Medical Center, we want to take the time to listen, to find the answers and to provide our patients with the best care. If you would like to schedule an appointment or receive more information, click here to find a location near you.