If you’ve directed by a doctor to get an ultrasound test, you may be asking yourself, “What can be detected on an ultrasound?”
Below, we’ll take a quick dive into how an ultrasound works and, therefore, what ultrasound images can reveal about your health.
How Does an Ultrasound Work?
Ultrasound exams are imaging tests that seek to examine the soft tissues underneath the skin. It’s a bit more thorough and can create images of certain body areas that don’t show up as well on a regular x-ray.
In diagnostic radiology, an ultrasound scan is look for tumors or growths within certain tissues or vital organs. Your radiologist does this by emitting high frequency sound waves to different areas of the body with a device called a transducer. This creates a real time image of what’s happening below the surface.
What Can Be Detected on an Ultrasound
Ultrasounds are most commonly thought of when monitoring the health of a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Radiologist will have their patients lie on the examination table so that they both can watch the abdominal ultrasound in real time. The doctor will be looking for signs of healthy growth, as well as any abnormal signs that could indicate problems with the pregnancy.
Aside from monitoring maternal health, ultrasounds are helpful in locating signs of tissue disease or tumors. These images may not be as detailed as a CT scan or MRI, but ultrasounds can give some patients better peace of mind as they do not use any form of radiation.
Ultrasounds can locate problems with liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, bladder, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, thyroid, testicular cancer, and more. It may struggle to identify issues with areas like the bowels, as the air and gases can interfere with the image quality.
Additional Types of Ultrasounds
Aside from the abdominal ultrasound, several others have gone on to make use of the same technology. Transvaginal ultrasounds help doctors get a more precise image of issues with the uterus and ovaries. A transrectal ultrasound can assist with diagnosing prostate issues in men.
More complicated forms of sonography use ultrasound technology such as transesophageal echocardiograms which place the transducer in the esophagus to create images of your heart. Doppler is a type of ultrasound that can help doctors understand how blood flows through your blood vessels. Bone sonography can assist with diagnosing osteoporosis. The amount of information you can gather with ultrasound technology is tremendously helpful in preventing and curing disease.
Benefits of Ultrasounds Over Other Imaging Tests
There are several reasons why a patient or a doctor may prefer to use ultrasounds over CT scans or MRIs. First and foremost, there is zero radiation exposure. Though the radiation is technically safe and low dose in other scans, this is why ultrasounds are used for monitoring pregnancy.
They also tend to be more thorough than x-rays and are more accessible and affordable for patients struggling with health care coverage. All that your doctor may require you to do to prepare for an ultrasound is to fast for a few hours prior. Patients also are often not required to disrobe.
Ultrasounds Performed by Hudson River Radiology
If a recent doctor visit left you needing a form of ultrasound imaging, come to Hudson River Radiology. We are a team of expert radiologists with a combined knowledge that covers the entire field. We know that medical imaging tests can often bring stress and concerns regarding your health or future, and we do what we can to give our patients the best possible experience.
You can start by requesting an appointment online today. For all other questions or concerns, give us a call today at (201) 876-1111.