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Ultrasound Exams

Ultrasound is a simple, safe, painless diagnostic procedure that bounces high-frequency sound waves off parts of the body and captures the returning “echoes” as images. There is no injection or radiation exposure associated with ultrasound.

There are many different types of ultrasound exams. Ultrasound is able to detect abnormalities (as in the breast) and capture moving images of pelvic and abdominal function (including gallstones), and the male reproductive system, the kidney and thyroid systems, as well as the developing fetus and many other uses. When enhanced with a special Doppler technique, an ultrasound can also capture moving blood images of large blood vessels and moving images of the heart using echocardiography.

  • We will call you prior to your appointment to provide you with specific instructions and review health and insurance information.
  • Please bring previous images you have had to the appointment, including ultrasound, mammography and MRI exams.
  • Please notify a member of our staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • You will lie on a cushioned table and gel will be applied to your skin; the gel acts as a conductor.
  • A transducer, a hand-held device that sends and receives ultrasound signals, is moved over the area of your body being imaged.
  • Images instantly are captured on a television-like monitor and transferred to film or videotape for a radiologist to review and interpret.
  • Depending on the type of exam, it can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes.

Ask a member of our staff for more specific information on when and how you will receive your results. However, in general you can expect:

  • A radiologist who specializes in a specific area of the body will review your images (e.g., a body radiologist will review an ultrasound of your abdomen).
  • The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will consider this information in context of your overall care, and talk with you about the results.