Programs & Services
Ultrasound (or Sonogram) involves the use of high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs and systems within the body.
How it Works
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, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with this test.
The test is done in the ultrasound department. You 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 then moved over the area being examined. You may be asked to change position so that other areas can be examined.
Before Your Test
Preparation for the procedure will depend on the body region being examined. You will be given instructions prior to your test.
During the Test
There is generally little discomfort with ultrasound procedures. The conducting gel may feel slightly cold and wet.
Why the test is performed
The reason for the examination will depend on your condition or symptoms. Some specific ultrasound exams include:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Pregnancy ultrasound
- Vascular ultrasound
- Thyroid ultrasound
- Trans-vaginal ultrasound
- Prostate ultrasound
- Testicle ultrasound
- Extremity Ultrasound
Most ultrasound examinations are performed in the manner described. However, certain circumstances require that the ultrasound probe be inserted into the body, rather than simply passing it over the skin. Consult your health care provider to determine the specifics of your test.