Ultrasound is typically a painless medical test that helps your doctor to diagnose and treat certain medical conditions.
Unlike X-rays, which use radiation, ultrasound exams uses reflected sound waves to examine areas of the body. Because there is no radiation exposure, ultrasound is the preferred imaging technique for pregnant mothers and their unborn infants.
Ultrasound is excellent for evaluating many, specific areas of the body and is especially effective for examining body cavities like the abdomen. The ultrasound scanner consists of a console which contains a computer, video display screen and a small hand-held device called a transducer that is used to create the image. The transducer sends out a sound wave and then listens for the echo or return wave. Images are immediately visible on the video display screen.
Our imaging centre offers several types of ultrasound exams including: abdominal, pelvic, transvaginal, scrotum, thyroid and musculoskeletal. Vascular ultrasound exams include abdominal and peripheral venous and arterial studies.
No known risks or harmful side effects are posed to humans from ultrasound examinations.
Preparation for your ultrasound exam is determined by the part of your body to be examined.
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam.
You will be asked to remove all clothing and jewelry from the area of your body being examined prior to the exam as these objects interfere with the quality of the images.
The portion of your body that is being examined will be undressed and you may be asked to wear a patient gown to cover yourself during the exam.
For abdominal ultrasound exams - Do not eat or drink for at least 8 hours prior to your exam. During this 8 hour period you may continue to take any regular medications but only with small sips of water.
For pediatric ultrasound exams - Fasting time is dependent upon the child's age. Consult your doctor for additional information.
For pelvic ultrasound exams - Your bladder should be full for the exam. Drink water as required and do not empty your bladder
The exam is usually completed within 15 to 30 minutes.
Our nurse will prepare and guide you by explaining the procedure and position you to ensure the highest quality images are obtained from your exam.
After being positioned on a comfortable table, the radiologist will apply some gel to your skin. The gel creates a secure contact to eliminate air pockets between your body and the probe.
The radiologist then presses the transducer against your body moving it back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images have been captured.
Once your exam is complete, the gel will be wiped off your skin and the nurse will guide you out of the examination room.
When your exam is complete you may leave and resume your regular activities.
A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the findings and next steps with you.