An ultrasound captures images of the inside of the body using sound waves. This procedure is often used during pregnancy but has numerous additional uses. The procedure is safe, evaluates the development of the fetus and detects issues with the heart, kidneys and liver. An ultrasound produces an image referred to as a sonogram. A sonographer takes the scan and it is interpreted by a specialist or radiologist. A small device is placed on the patient’s skin to perform the test. The image is created because the sound will travel through fluids and the soft tissues. The highest quality image is achieved with a higher frequency.

Although the wand is usually placed on the body of the patient, some types are placed internally for clearer images. These placements include the rectum, vagina and throat. Some are so small they can be inserted into the blood vessels with a catheter. Ultrasound Mesa AZ uses ultrasounds to make a diagnosis, for biopsies and for treatments. Numerous organs can be examined including the kidneys, ovaries, thyroid gland, pancreas and testes. Ultrasounds also determine if a lump is a cyst or cancerous tumor. Issues can be diagnosed for the muscles, soft tissues, joints, blood vessels and tendons. Information can be gathered for tennis elbow, frozen shoulders and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Doppler ultrasounds are an important tool for diagnosing circulatory issues because they provide images of the cardiovascular system. They also assess the state of heart abnormalities, cardio valves, leaking valves and measure the blood flow. Ultrasounds look at clots, plaque buildup, the heartbeat and narrow or blocked arteries. Ultrasounds are an important part of emergency medicine because they assess a wide variety of conditions. Ultrasounds can be performed on newborn babies by using the soft spot on the head. This checks for numerous abnormalities. As the soft spot decreases in size, the quality of the images will decline.

An ultrasound is usually given at the physician’s office or the hospital. The average scan requires twenty minutes to an hour, is quiet and painless. The only necessary preparation is for the patient to wear clothing that is comfortable and fits loosely. The only time fasting is required is if the ultrasound is for the gallbladder or liver. Pregnant women are encouraging to drink a lot of water because a better image of the uterus is created when the bladder is full.

The test begins when a gel is placed on the skin of the patient. The wand is moved over this area to examine the fetus. Under most circumstances, an ultrasound is considered noninvasive. There is no exposure to ionizing radiation and the procedure is quite safe. There have been no risks established for the long term but receiving scans as keepsakes of the baby is discouraged. Ultrasounds are only performed during pregnancy when the physician believes there is a medical reason. It is important to note the probe is covered in latex. If an allergy is present, the physician must be informed so a different product can be used.