Ultrasound produces images of soft tissue and organs in the body through the use of sound waves that reflect back and are displayed as a real-time image. Ultrasound can detect diseased or damaged tissues, locate abnormal growths and identify a wide variety of conditions, enabling your radiologist to make a quick and accurate diagnosis.
Ultrasound uses a transducer, a wand-shaped device, that when gently pressed against the skin directs high-frequency sound waves into the body. These sound waves echo back and the transducer electronically converts the reflected waves into very precise images of the body. This is the same principal used to track weather patterns and to guide air traffic. Ionizing radiation (X-ray) is not used in ultrasound making it a safe alternative for imaging pregnant women.
Doppler Vascular Ultrasound
A Doppler vascular ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain a medical image or picture of blood flow through various vessels in the body. Vascular ultrasound produces precise images and measurements of many blood vessels in the body. It is commonly used to image the carotid artery in the neck, or arteries and veins in legs and arms. It can detect diseased vessels and identify a wide variety of changing conditions, enabling your doctor to make a quick and accurate diagnosis.
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Please arrive 30 minutes before your exam if you are being scanned at a hospital location. If you are going to an outpatient center, please arrive 10 minutes prior to your exam. The preparations for an ultrasound vary depending on the body part you are having scanned.
If you are having an ultrasound of any Upper Abdominal Organ (Gall Bladder, Pancreas, Liver, Spleen) and/or Kidney(s) and/or Aorta eat an early low-fat dinner on the night before your exam and have nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to your exam.
If you are having an ultrasound of your Pelvis you will need to have a full bladder for this exam. Please drink 6 eight oz. glasses of liquid. Finish drinking this liquid one hour prior to your exam. Do Not Empty your bladder before the exam.
There is no preparation if you are having an ultrasound of your Breast, Extremity or other body parts (i.e., Thyroid).
An Ultrasound examination is performed by a sonographer -a technician trained in ultrasound imaging. The sonographer will apply a hypoallergenic, water-soluble gel to prevent air from getting between your skin and the transducer, a small probe resembling a bar of soap. The sonographer then gently passes the transducer over the skin of the area being examined, producing a sensation of light pressure. The transducer generates and receives the high-frequency sound waves. The computer in the ultrasound unit processes and converts the resulting patterns into detailed images.Doppler Vascular Ultrasound
A Doppler vascular ultrasound is performed the same way an Ultrasound is performed. The sonographer will apply a hypoallergenic, water-soluble gel to prevent air from getting between your skin and the transducer, a small probe resembling a bar of soap. The sonographer then gently passes the transducer over the skin of the area being examined, producing a sensation of light pressure. The transducer generates and receives the high-frequency sound waves. The computer in the ultrasound unit processes and converts the resulting patterns into detailed images. During portions of the exam, you will hear sounds similar to a heartbeat coming from the ultrasound machine while we are listening to the blood flow in your vessels.
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Typically your referring physician will schedule an appointment for you. If you have been asked to schedule the appointment yourself, please have your physician's order and any pre-authorization information required by your insurance or health plan provider in hand, and call 704-442-4390.