Ultrasound imaging, or sonography, is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body by using high frequency sound waves. As sound passes through the body, echoes are produced that identify how far away an object is, the size of the object, its shape and consistency (solid, fluid or mixed).
Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body’s internal organs such as the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, uterus, ovaries, thyroid and testicles. Because ultrasound provides real-time images, it is also useful as a guide for needle biopsies.
The steps you will take to prepare for an ultrasound will depend on the area or organ that is being examined.
You may need to fast for eight to 12 hours before your ultrasound, especially if your abdomen is being examined. Undigested food can block the sound waves, making it difficult for the technician to get a clear picture.
For an examination of the gallbladder, liver, pancreas, or spleen, you may be told to eat a fat-free meal the evening before your test and then to fast until the procedure. However, you can continue to drink water and take any medications as instructed. For other examinations, you may be asked to drink a lot of water and to hold your urine so that your bladder is full and better visualized.
The AMI sonographer, will apply a special lubricating jelly to your skin. This prevents friction so they can rub the ultrasound transducer on your skin. The transducer has a similar appearance to a microphone. The jelly also helps transmit the sound waves.
The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves through your body. The waves echo as they hit a dense object, such as an organ or bone. Those echoes are then reflected back into a computer. The sound waves are at too high of a pitch for the human ear to hear. They form a picture that can be interpreted by the doctor.
Depending on the area being examined, you may need to change positions so the technician can have better access.
After the procedure, the gel will be cleaned off of your skin. The whole procedure typically lasts less than 30 minutes, depending on the area being examined. You will be free to go about your normal activities after the procedure has finished.
If you have any further questions about our services, please contact our friendly staff.Call Us
Our Board Certified Radiologists have a wide-variety of subspecialties and are on call 24 hours a day to ensure the best care is always available, when patients need it most.