Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of internal organs and tissues. Because different tissues reflect sound differently, ultrasound exams are very useful in determining the size, shape and consistency (solid, liquid, mixed) of structures within the body. It is used to evaluate blood flow through major vessels and is able to visualize blockages, plaque and clots within the vessels. Because no x-rays are used, ultrasound is useful for monitoring pregnancies. Ultrasound is also useful for providing guidance for minimally invasive procedures such as a biopsy or thoracentesis.
Ultrasound exams at Genesis are performed by technologists registered with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Our technologist must also successfully complete registry exams for Abdominal, Obstetrics, RVT, General Physics and Vascular Physics.
What to expect
An ultrasound exam will vary according to the specific body part being imaged, but in general will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Please wear comfortable loose fitting clothes. You will usually be asked to lie on a table. Warm gel will be applied to the area examined. The gel ensures good transmission of the sound waves. Your technologist will glide an instrument called a transducer across your skin. The transducer sends out the sounds waves and also receives the echoes that bounce back. These echoes are converted to a live real-time image that displays on the monitor.
Your technologist will capture "snapshots" appropriate to the body part being examined. The images will be sent to and stored on PACS. A Radiologist will interpret the images and dictate a report that with be typed and sent to the doctor that ordered the exam for you.