Diagnostic Services
What is an ultrasound?
Ultrasound (also known as sonogram) is a safe, state-of-the-art exam. High frequency sound waves are used to produce real-time visual images that differentiate between the body's soft tissues and its fluid-filled structures. Doppler ultrasound can also detect motion, such as the movement of blood cells. Unlike x-rays and CT scans, ultrasound does not use radiation and, therefore, may be used safely during pregnancy.
Why would I need an ultrasound?
Ultrasound allows a physician to view and evaluate veins, arteries and blood flow in a person's neck, arms, abdomen and legs. In pregnancy, ultrasound can help determine fetal age and anatomical development. It also may be used to screen a fetus at risk for Down syndrome in the first trimester. Ultrasound technology is helpful too in the area of breast health, when a questionable mammogram finding requires more detailed exploration.
What to Expect?
A clear water-based gel is applied to the part of the body being scanned. This reduces small amounts of air that can interfere with imaging. A smooth hand-held device called a transducer is gently rubbed across the part of the body being examined. Sound waves generated from within the instrument enter the body and returning echoes are transferred back to a computer. The reflected sound waves are used to produce live images on a monitor and allow real-time imaging of an area of interest. Since the images are generated in real time, they can be used to show the structure and movements of internal organs and muscles. During this time, the patient simply lies still. No special diet or preparation is needed beforehand. Radiology services are generally pain-free, non-invasive and available to both outpatients and inpatients.