Ultrasound is commonly used to diagnose and monitor medical conditions, including pregnancy, abdominal pain, liver and gallbladder diseases, thyroid disorders, and vascular diseases. Your healthcare provider may order West New York ultrasounds to get a clear understanding of your condition to inform an ideal treatment plan.
Before an ultrasound, the healthcare provider will typically ask a patient to prepare by fasting for a certain period if the exam involves the abdomen, pelvis, or gallbladder. You may also be asked to drink water and refrain from urinating to fill the bladder for a clearer image. Additionally, a patient may need to remove clothing and wear a hospital gown for the exam. It is important to follow any instructions your healthcare provider gives to ensure the best possible results from the ultrasound.
How does an ultrasound work?
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves emitted from a handheld device. The device is placed on the skin, sending sound waves into the body that bounce off organs and tissues and create echoes. These echoes are then detected by the transducer and sent to a computer, which converts them into real-time images that can be viewed on a screen.
The ultrasound machine measures the time it takes for the sound waves to travel back from the body and create an image based on the strength and timing of the echoes. Different types of tissues, such as fluid or solid organs, produce different echoes that can be visualized and distinguished on the ultrasound image.
Ultrasound can be performed on different body parts by placing the transducer on the skin or inserting the transducer into a body cavity, such as the vagina or rectum, to obtain better images of certain organs. The procedure is painless and typically takes about 30 minutes to complete. The resulting images can provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating various medical conditions.
Conditions that may need an ultrasound
Here is a more detailed explanation of some of the conditions that may require an ultrasound:
- Pregnancy: Ultrasound is commonly used to monitor fetal development during pregnancy. It can help determine the baby’s size, position, and health. It can also identify multiple pregnancies and detect potential complications such as ectopic pregnancy, placenta previa, or fetal abnormalities.
- Abdominal pain: If a patient is experiencing pain or discomfort in the abdomen, an ultrasound may be ordered to help identify the underlying cause. It can detect gallstones, kidney stones, liver disease, and pancreatic disorders.
- Thyroid disorders: Ultrasound is commonly used to evaluate the thyroid gland for abnormalities such as nodules, cysts, or enlargement. It can also guide a thyroid gland biopsy to test for cancer or other conditions.
- Vascular diseases: Ultrasound can be used to evaluate the blood flow in the veins and arteries of the body. It can help identify deep vein thrombosis, peripheral artery disease, and aneurysms.
- Breast abnormalities can be used to evaluate breast lumps or abnormalities detected during a physical exam or mammogram. It can help determine if a lump is a cyst or a solid mass and guide a biopsy if needed.
- Reproductive system disorders: Ultrasound can evaluate the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes in women and the prostate gland in men. It can help identify conditions such as ovarian cysts, fibroids, and testicular tumors.
If you are considering an ultrasound, speak to your doctor at Advanced Imaging.