What’s an Ultrasound?

What is an ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan imaging test utilises high-intensity sound waves to look inside your body. Other terms for ultrasounds include ultrasonography or sonography. The sound waves create real-time videos or pictures of soft tissues or internal organs.

An ultrasound lets your healthcare provider see details of your internal organs without incisions. They differ from x-rays, which use radiation to see inside the body.

When you get an ultrasound, your healthcare provider will pass a probe or transducer inside of a body opening or over your body. Before they do that, they’ll apply gel to your skin. The gel enables the ultrasound waves transmitted from the device to enter your body.

As the device sends sound waves into your body, they bounce off various soft tissues and internal organs. The sound waves return to the device, converting them into electrical signals.

A computer is used to convert electrical signals into videos or pictures. These images get displayed on a nearby screen.

ultrasound scan facts
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What Are the Types of Ultrasound Scan?

Ultrasounds can get broken up into three primary categories. These categories include:

  • Diagnostic ultrasound
  • Pregnancy ultrasound
  • Procedural ultrasounds for guidance

Diagnostic Ultrasound Scan

Your healthcare provider will use diagnostic ultrasound to look at the internal areas of your body. They do this to see if an area is not working correctly.

This type of ultrasound can also help your doctor discover what’s causing different symptoms in your body. These symptoms can include:

  • Abnormal blood tests
  • Masses
  • Unexplained pain

During most diagnostic ultrasounds, the ultrasound technician will use a device outside your skin. On other occasions, they might have to put the device inside your body. This includes your rectum or vagina.

What type of diagnostic ultrasound you receive depends upon your symptoms. Common examples of diagnostic ultrasounds include:

  • Kidney ultrasound
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Testes
  • Lumps & Bumps
  • Sports Injury (MSK)