Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays). 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.
SMI’s ultrasound services include: abdominal ultrasound; breast ultrasound; obstetrical ultrasound; musculoskeletal ultrasound; pelvic/gynecologic ultrasound; small parts ultrasound; and vascular ultrasound.
How is the procedure performed?
For most ultrasound exams, the patient is positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. A clear water-based gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin that can block the sound waves from passing into your body.
The sonographer (ultrasound technologist) then presses the transducer firmly against the skin in various locations, sweeping over the area of interest or angling the sound beam from a farther location to better see an area of concern.
Most ultrasound examinations are completed within 30 minutes to an hour.
How should I prepare?
Typically, there is no special preparation for general ultrasound. You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam.
Other preparation depends on the type of examination you will have. For some scans, your doctor may instruct you not to eat or drink for 8-10 hours before your appointment. You may also be required to drink water to ensure you have a full bladder.
If you have any questions or concerns about your visit to SMI, please call 1.306.477.1000.