When You Need an Ultrasound

Ultrasounds are for more than pregnancy!

Ultrasound. The word generally conjures images of a smiling woman seeing her unborn child on a monitor for the first time, but ultrasounds are used for reasons besides pregnancy. Ultrasound is a special test that uses high-frequency sound waves to look at organs and structures inside the body. You may sometimes hear the word sonogram used in place of the word ultrasound.

How Does an Ultrasound Work?
During an ultrasound, a technologist or doctor moves a device known as a transducer over the part of your body that needs testing. The transducer sends sound waves that bounce off the tissues inside your body. It also captures the waves that bounce back, and these sound waves are used to create images. You may be able to see the images on a computer monitor.

When Is Ultrasound Used?
Ultrasound is commonly used during pregnancy to examine the fetus, but it is also used to help diagnose different conditions and look for organ damage after an illness.  You may need an ultrasound to evaluate symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Blood in urine

What Body Parts Can Ultrasound Examine?
Ultrasound is used to examine many of the body’s internal organs, including:

  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Bladder
  • Thyroid

and many more.

Getting an Ultrasound
If your doctor has ordered an ultrasound, you should wear loose-fitting clothing to your appointment. You may need to remove jewelry from the part of your body that is going to be examined and you might be asked to wear a hospital gown during the procedure. Depending on the type of ultrasound you will be having, other preparations may be necessary. For example, you may be told not to eat or drink for several hours before your appointment.

The ultrasound department at St. Petersburg General Hospital is accredited by the American College of Radiology for OB antepartum ultrasound, gynecological ultrasound, and general ultrasound. Learn more about ultrasound and other services we offer here or contact us by phone at (727) 384-1414.

Related Posts:
Medical Tests Every Woman Should Have

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