An ultrasound scan, or sonogram, is a procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body, such as the heart. SDMI has all new 3D technology in our Ultrasound department, with Superb Microvascular Imaging, which vastly improves visualization of very small vessels.
Since sound waves are used rather than radiation, the procedure is extremely safe. Ultrasound scans are commonly used during pregnancy to produce images of the baby in the womb, but they can also be used to detect heart problems, examine other parts of the body such as the liver, kidneys and abdomen and help guide a surgeon performing some types of biopsy.
Being a simple procedure, ultrasounds require little to no preparation, with only a few exceptions:
Jewelry, watches, glasses and even clothing may need to be removed before the exam, requiring the patient to change into a hospital dressing gown.
Patients will be asked to lie on an examination table, where a special type of gel will be applied to keep sound-blocking air pockets from forming.
Once prepared, a trained technician called a sonographer will press a device called a transducer against the skin where the test is being performed to capture the image. The transducer emits a high-frequency sound (one that is inaudible to human ears) to send sound waves into the body that collect information by determining the size, shape and consistency of organs and soft tissues. This information is sent back to a computer that processes and forms the images. On average, ultrasounds can take anywhere from 30 minutes to up to an hour.
The radiologist and doctor will interpret the images in order to help diagnose and treat potential conditions. Once complete, normal activity can be resumed.