Ultrasonography FAQs

What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound is the use of high frequency sound waves that reflect off of a body structure to form an image. The images are recorded and displayed on a monitor screen. The procedure is painless and safe.

Ultrasound produces images of the soft tissues of the body as well as blood flow. The procedure is commonly used in the abdomen, pelvis, breast, thyroid, prostate and scrotum as well as in pregnancy evaluation. Doppler ultrasound is used to examine the carotid vessels in the neck, heart (echocardiography), abdomen (aorta, renal arteries) and leg vessels.

How should I prepare for the ultrasound?

Depending on the type of ultrasound examination, our office will give you precise instructions prior to the test. You may be asked to maintain a special diet the day before your exam. You may also be instructed to avoid anything to eat or drink the day before the test. It is also possible there is no preparation. Our office will tell you precisely what to do.

What will the exam be like?

You should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing for your ultrasound examination or you may be asked to change into a gown. You will be asked to lie down on the exam table next to the scanner. The sonographer will apply a gel on that part of the body to be examined. During the ultrasound exam, a hand held device called a transducer is placed on that part of the body to be examined. 

How long will the exam take?

The exam will usually take about 30 minutes depending on the part of the body to be examined. You may be required to drink water to have a full bladder which is necessary to a good ultrasound picture. 

When will you know the results? 

Once the examination is completed, the pictures will be analyzed by the radiologist. The radiologist will send your doctor a written report. You should contact your physician within 2-3 days of your exam to make an appointment to go over your results.

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