Ultrasound, also called sonography, is a noninvasive diagnostic tool that takes real-time images of internal body structures. The procedure involves a specialized instrument which sends out high-frequency sound waves to the area of the body that needs to be examined. One of the biggest benefits of ultrasound from a patient’s perspective is that it does not involve radiation.
When the sound waves bounce back to the machine, it produces a reading of the size and shape of the body’s internal organs and tissues. When this “echo” is relayed real-time to a nearby screen, a qualified medical practitioner will interpret the image. Still photos can also be captured during the ultrasound.
Most people associate ultrasound imaging with pregnancy, but ultrasound actually has a wide range of applications.
What Is Ultrasound Used For?
Not only do doctors use ultrasound imaging for fetal diagnosis – a necessary procedure to analyze fetal development during pregnancy – but it is also used to investigate the abdominal and pelvic organs as well as circulatory issues.
When used for an abdominal scan, an ultrasound is used to investigate symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and lumps. The organs that are typically inspected in abdominal ultrasound scanning include the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and gallbladder.
A carotid ultrasound is a special scan that is used to evaluate the blood flow in the carotid arteries. These are the important blood vessels that take blood from the heart to the brain, and they are located along both sides of the neck.
Ultrasound imaging also aids doctors when performing invasive procedures such as biopsies, where a doctor removes a tissue sample from a particular area inside the body. The delicate and precise nature of a biopsy requires a clear image of the internal tissues, and this makes ultrasound a valuable instrument.
Women’s Health and Ultrasound
Pelvic ultrasound scans are frequently performed on women who are experiencing pain in the pelvic area. Because most of a woman’s reproductive organs are internal, ultrasound imaging is usually the best way to examine any related issues. This is done via a transvaginal ultrasound device that is placed through the vagina and remains in place while the images are captured.
Symptoms like irregular, absent, or abnormal periods, ovarian cysts, and other related conditions are best diagnosed using a transvaginal ultrasound. Abnormalities in the female reproductive system can range from simple conditions like a cyst to more serious ones like cancer.
Breast scans through ultrasound imaging are also standard, especially as a follow-up to mammograms that discover abnormalities like lumps in the chest area. This diagnostic device is also essential when a lump is felt but nothing was revealed in a mammogram.
Health Scans in Syracuse
The results of an ultrasound scan may lead your physician to suggest simple monitoring, medication, or even surgical removal of problematic tissue such as a tumor. Some conditions may need further testing before a treatment is determined.
At University OB/GYN Associates, women’s health is our top priority. Our gynecologists and obstetricians are ready to address health problems that are revealed in ultrasound scans, and we will offer solutions that are both safe and effective.
Our offices are conveniently located adjacent to Syracuse University. For more information and to schedule a consultation, you may request an appointment online or call us at (315) 464-5162 today. We look forward to helping you enjoy a lifetime of good health!