The ultrasound is perhaps the most versatile medical imaging tool there is. It radiologists to examine nearly every organ in the body. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about it:
How do ultrasounds work? Ultrasound scanners use a wand-like transducer to produce sound waves. These waves travel harmlessly through the body, reflecting and bouncing off organs. These sound waves return to the transducer, producing a real-time image visible on a computer monitor.
Why would a physician recommend an ultrasound? This is used to evaluate the thyroid, to look inside the gallbladder for gallstones, to diagnose appendicitis and to examine pelvic and abdominal organs. They also help radiologists detect masses, blood clots and narrowing in the arteries that could lead to a stroke.
What can I expect on the day of my exam? Ultrasound exams do not require preparation. Depending on the area that needs to be scanned, you may need to fast or drink water in advance.