Ultrasound scanning, often referred to as sonography, is a method that obtains images of internal body organs through the use of high frequency soundwaves, which are recorded and displayed as images on a monitor. Ultrasound technology is a diagnostic tool that can be used to analyze the health of various organs and anatomical structures to diagnose unexplained pain or swelling. Because an ultrasound scan uses no radiation, it is safe for pregnant women or nursing mothers. At Park Avenue Radiologists, we provide the best in ultrasound technology and imaging currently available.
What is an ultrasound scan?
With the use of soundwaves, an ultrasound is able to provide live images of your organs on a monitor without using radiation, as some traditional forms of medical imaging do. Images are captured in real time and show the movement of internal tissue, organs, blood flow, heart valve functions, and the condition of an embryo or fetus in an expecting mother. Ultrasound is a non-invasive medical imaging tool that involves no radiation.
What can an ultrasound scan help diagnose?
An ultrasound scan can be used on multiple body parts to identify palpable masses, fibroids, kidney stones, causes of uterine bleeding, and other conditions. A carotid ultrasound scan can help detect plaques that narrow the carotid artery and limit the flow of blood to the brain. Ultrasound technology can be used to determine the cause of discomfort, inflammation, or infection. Ultrasound scans can even be used to guide certain biopsy procedures. For cardiac health, a sonogram can help diagnose congestive heart failure and heart complications such as valve conditions. A heart ultrasound can help to determine the severity of damage after cardiac arrest. Finally, one of the most common uses for an ultrasound scan is to evaluate the health of an unborn baby.
What can I expect from an ultrasound test?
Ultrasound imaging of the abdomen requires the patient to fast 6 hours prior to the ultrasound scan. A transabdominal or transvesical ultrasound of the pelvis requires the patient to drink several glasses of water approximately thirty minutes before the pelvic ultrasound. The majority of other ultrasound scans require little to no preparation. To begin your ultrasound scan, you may be asked to change into a gown. You will lie down on the procedure table, and a gel will be applied to the area being evaluated. A hand-held device called a transducer will then be placed on the test area and slowly moved from side to side in order to obtain clear images. In some cases of an ultrasound scan, you may be asked to reposition or to lie down with your hands above your head. Once our radiologists have gathered clear images from your sonogram, any excess gel will gently be wiped away from the test area. Immediately following a sonogram or ultrasound scan, you will be able to return to your daily activities.
How long does an ultrasound scan take, & when will I get my results?
Because an ultrasound is a noninvasive medical imaging tool that requires no needles, most sonograms can be completed very quickly. While the majority of ultrasound scans are completed in thirty minutes, some exams may be longer. A more comprehensive ultrasound scan may take up to one hour to complete. You may be asked to wait while your ultrasound images are reviewed for quality prior to leaving our office. Our team of expertly trained radiologists will begin to assess your ultrasound scan results and send a detailed report to your physician. Your physician will then contact you to discuss your ultrasound results. In some cases, additional ultrasound scans or other imaging tests such as an MRI scan, CT scan, or X-ray may be needed to effectively diagnose a condition.
How can I learn more about an ultrasound scan?
Our radiologists at Park Avenue Radiologists would be happy to discuss an ultrasound scan with you. For an appointment or additional information, please call 212.888.1000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or request an appointment online.