What is Ultrasound Imaging?

Ultrasound imaging involves high-frequency sound waves that produce pictures of the inside of your body. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

Advancements in ultrasound technology that you are afforded at Family Health Care’s Imaging Center include three-dimensional images (3-D) and four-dimensional (4-D) ultrasound, which is 3-D ultrasound in motion. Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood as it flows through a blood vessel.

Doppler ultrasound images can help the physician to see and evaluate:

  • Blockages to blood flow (such as clots)
  • Narrowing of vessels (which may be caused by plaque)
  • Tumors and congenital malformation

Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body’s internal organs, including but not limited to:

  • heart and blood vessels including the abdominal aorta
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • spleen
  • pancreas
  • kidneys
  • bladder
  • uterus, ovaries, and unborn child (fetus) in pregnant patients
  • thyroid and parathyroid glands
  • scrotum (testicles)

Ultrasound can also help evaluate symptoms such as pain, swelling and infection.

How should I prepare?

For some scans, your doctor may instruct you not to eat or drink for as many as 12 hours before your appointment. For others, you may be asked to drink up to six glasses of water two hours prior to your exam and to avoid urinating so that your bladder is full when the scan begins. After an ultrasound exam, you should be able to resume your normal activities.

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