Also known as sonography, an Ultrasound is a diagnostic medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture and produce images of the organs inside your body. It is through the study of these images that doctors are able to identify various problems with organs and tissues without making an incision and thereby, obtain valuable information to diagnose and treat a massive range of diseases.
Ultrasound is preferred over many other imaging test techniques because it uses no radiation which reduces the risk factor of a variety of other medical complications, particularly in sensitive cases such as in viewing a developing foetus during pregnancy.
WHY do you need an Ultrasound?
On your complaint of any pain originating within your body, doctors may recommend an ultrasound to obtain the internal view of your organs. Therefore, the need for ultrasound or the uses of ultrasound are numerous including it being used as a guide to various surgical procedures such as biopsies. We have listed some of the most important uses below-
- to view the uterus and ovaries during pregnancy and examine the baby’s health
- to evaluate blood flood
- to detect any prostrate or genital abnormalities
- to examine breast lumps
- to diagnose any gallbladder disease
- to check your thyroid gland
- to monitor your gallbladder and kidneys
- to assess joint inflammation
- to study metabolic bone disease
- to detect abnormalities in the brain of infants
WHAT are the risk factors?
Since an ultrasound treatment uses low power and sound waves, it is considered quite a safe procedure. However, since these sound waves don’t operate through air or bones, ultrasound as a testing tool becomes futile at imaging body parts where images containing necessary information get hidden by the physical structures in the observation site of the body unlike in the case of X-rays, CT or MRI scan tests.
HOW do you prepare for an Ultrasound?
You will be advised to follow different steps to prepare for an ultrasound depending upon the examination site of your body. For instance, for abdominal organs, our doctors will ensure you fast for 8-12 hours before the test since undigested food may block the sound waves hindering the image accession. However, for organs like the gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and liver, you may be asked to fast the evening before the examination day until the procedure. In other cases, you may be asked to drink lots of water and hold your urine for better visualisation of the bladder.
You must also inform your doctors about any prescribed drugs or supplements you are on before the procedure since they may call for other specific preparatory steps.
HOW is an Ultrasound performed?
Before being examined, you are required to remove part or all of your clothing, and any jewellery and change into a hospital gown that our medical staff will provide. With the examination part exposed, an ultrasound technician called a sonographer will first apply a special lubricating jelly to the area which will not only aid in smoothly rubbing the ultrasound transducer on your skin but also helps in transmitting the sound waves for better image results.
As the transducer sends high-frequency sound waves through your body and hits an organ or bone, the waves echo back as reflected sounds into a computer at a pitch too high for the human ear to hear. These reflected sound waves create a picture that your doctor interprets and thereupon, diagnoses the abnormalities detected in the area. You may be asked to change positions while the sonographer scans for better access to the organs inside. The entire process may take less than half an hour after which the gel will be removed from your skin.
In some other cases, ultrasounds are done inside your body wherein the transducer is attached to a probe that is inserted into a natural opening in your body. Few of such common cases include the following-
Transrectal ultrasound: In this case, a special transducer is inserted into the rectum to create images of the prostate.
Transesophageal echocardiogram: In this test, the transducer is inserted into your oesophagus to obtain heart images and this is usually done while you are sedated.
Transvaginal ultrasound: In this case, the transducer is gently inserted into the vagina to get a quick view of the uterus and ovaries.
The insertion may cause mild discomfort; otherwise, ultrasound is usually painless.
WHAT after the Ultrasound?
After the completion of the ultrasound examination, our specialist, i.e. the radiologist will analyse the images retrieved from the procedure. The information received from them will be interpreted to you in ways you will understand any of the abnormalities observed so that you can work together towards implementing the required treatment through various discussions of the findings and scheduling the needful follow-up appointments.
In case, the doctor needs more information to diagnose your condition apart from what the ultrasound has revealed, your doctor may also recommend other diagnostic techniques such as a CT scan, MRI, or biopsy sample of organ tissues depending upon the site. Otherwise, with the required diagnosis obtained from the ultrasound procedure, your doctor will develop and begin your treatment right away.
WHOM to consult?
Our experts at the Department of Radiology, Yashoda Hospital are not only equipped with the best knowledge and training but also have commendable years of experience in the field. Following the instructions of your specialist is absolutely vital for medical procedures such as an ultrasound since the success of treating your condition depends upon the accuracy of the diagnosis. By working closely with experts and surgeons from all other fields, our specialists are here to give you the best service while using the latest technology.
For any query on Ultrasound and its procedure, please reach out to us on our official website www.yashodahealthcare.com or book an appointment with our highly specialised radiologists Dr. Alok Tripathi and Dr. Pankaj Agarwal by calling us at 09810922042.