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)

What is an abdominal ultrasound?

Abdominal ultrasound scans are the most common ultrasound examinations as there are many organs within the abdominal viscera that can cause health problems and concerns. Upper abdominal or RUQ pain could be related to these organs, and more commonly to gallstones.

The main organs visualized with an ultrasound sonogram in the upper abdomen are the liver, the gallbladder, the pancreas, the kidneys and the spleen.

The role of the liver which is the second-largest organ in the body is to process nutrients absorbed by the bowel, fight infections, remove toxins from the body such as alcohol, control cholesterol and release bile to name a few.

The gallbladder which is a pear shape sack that stores the bile produced from the liver and releases it via the biliary tract when we need to break down the fat. Stones within the gallbladder called gallstones can cause pain and indigestion.

The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin and regulate the blood sugar in the bloodstream.

The kidneys are responsible for filtering the toxins from the blood and also regulate the blood pressure. Kidney stones are very common and can cause pain and sometimes obstruction that can be manifested with blood in urine.

The spleen is part of the immune system and clears the blood of proliferating blood cells.

Private Pelvic Ultrasound

At Core Clinic and Bothwell Medical Rooms, we specialize in providing comprehensive pelvic ultrasound services in a comfortable and professional setting. Pelvic ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging technique used to visualize the organs and structures of the body within the pelvic region.
This type of medical ultrasound includes information about the uterus (womb), endometrium, ovaries and surrounding structures.

It’s a safe and effective way to diagnose, monitor, and assist in the treatment of various conditions involving the female gynaecology anatomy.

Lumps and Bumps Ultrasound Scan

This scan checks any lump that may be felt or visualized in the body. Ultrasound is usually the first-line method of examination for anyone with a general swelling or bump. The most common causes for lumps in the body are ganglion cysts, lipomas and sebaceous cysts, which are all usually easily identifiable on ultrasound.

Other common problems which can show on the scan are:

  • Masses
  • Cysts
  • Haematomas

Private Testicular Ultrasound 

The private testicular ultrasound is a man’s health, screening ultrasound scan to examine the male reproductive organs such as the testes, epididymis, spermatic cord and the scrotum. Testicular lumps are very common, and the test will identify what the lump is, for example if the lump is benign such a cyst or something more serious such as testicular cancer. 

The scrotum or testicular sack contains the testes and the epididymis. It is very common for pain or lumps to developed within the scrotal sac. In most cases these lumps are benign, and the scrotal ultrasound is being used to confirm what the lump is. Other possible abnormalities within the scrotal sac are an absent or undescended testicle, inflammation, testicular torsion (twisted testis), fluid collection, enlarged blood vessels (varicocoeles) or a mass (lump or a tumour), infertility. 

Kidneys and Bladder Ultrasound Scan

Urinary tract or waterworks problems are very common, impacting both sexes. Kidney stones can cause immerse pain and blood in the urine.

Kidney stones can cause pain and also stop the kidneys from draining to the bladder by blocking the ureters, resulting in what is called hydronephrosis. If renal hydronephrosis is left untreated, it can result in scarring and other significant issues with your kidneys.  

Bladder issues are also very common. In men, bladder problems can be associated with an enlarged prostate.

In women, it can be, amongst other causes, the result of uterine fibroids that press on the bladder.  In the ideal circumstances, diagnosis and proper treatment/management of the symptoms should be accomplished as soon as possible, but the long NHS waiting lists can cause unnecessary pain and distress. This why our clients take control of their health and choose a private ultrasound scan with us.