What is Ultrasound Imaging?
Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, is a method of obtaining diagnostic images from inside the human body through the use of high frequency sound waves. Ultrasonography is used as a diagnostic tool that can assist doctors with making recommendations for further treatment.
Pelvic ultrasound uses sound waves to form pictures of your organs that appear on a screen. It can help your physician assess pain or other symptoms in the pelvis (lower abdomen). For pregnant women, ultrasound is used to check the fetus. The test is done by moving a probe over the abdomen and pelvis. At times, it is also done by placing a probe inside the vagina. This test involves no radiation and is harmless.
How should I prepare for an Ultrasound?
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. For a pregnancy or pelvic ultrasound, you are required to have a full bladder and nothing to eat or drink after midnight. To ensure best results, please follow these instructions:
- Two hours before exam time, empty your bladder.
- Do not urinate again until your exam is complete.
- Immediately after your last urination, begin drinking 1.5 quarts of liquid (no milk or dairy products). Drink at a rate that is comfortable for you.
- Please remember not to urinate until after your ultrasound exam is completed.
What should I expect during this procedure?
The examination usually takes less than 30 minutes. After being positioned on the exam table, a clear gel is applied in the area being examined. This helps the transducer make contact with the skin. The technologist firmly presses the transducer against the skin and moves it back and forth to image the area of interest.
Generally, the technologist is able to review the ultrasound images in real-time or, when the examination is complete and the gel is wiped off, you may be asked to dress and wait while the ultrasound images are reviewed, either on film or monitor.
For more information on this topic, please visit www.Radiologyinfo.org.