Ultrasound testing is an excellent diagnostic tool, and it gives your medical team a great deal of insight into what might be causing your symptoms. Whether you’re pregnant or have a small injury, an ultrasound test can give you the answers you need in a short amount of time. Creekside Family Practice in Huntsville, Alabama, provides this safe, effective, and noninvasive imaging service.
Ultrasound testing, also called sonography, is a type of imaging that uses sound waves to create a picture of your organs and other soft tissues. Ultrasounds are a preferred imaging option among doctors and patients, because they are noninvasive, painless, and do not rely on radiation to get an in-depth view of your internal structures.
You might immediately associate ultrasound testing with pregnancy, as these tests are often used to check on fetal development and even determine the sex of an unborn baby. There are, however, many other medical applications that rely on ultrasound testing.
Ultrasound technology has many medical uses, and it can help your doctor diagnose issues in many internal structures, including:
In addition, ultrasound imaging is also used to guide needle biopsies, soft tissue repairs, and other treatments.
You’ll find ultrasound testing to be a simple and straightforward experience. Depending on the type of ultrasound test you take, you may need to prepare by limiting foods and liquids for a period of time, or you may need to drink a certain volume of water in the hours before your appointment.
Ultrasound testing requires no anesthesia, needles, incisions, or other invasive steps. You may need to change into a medical gown or remove clothing that covers the targeted area. Once you’re comfortable, your practitioner applies a water-based gel to allow the handheld transducer to glide over the surface of your skin.
The transducer creates a high-frequency sound that moves through your body. As those sound waves bounce off the different structures, the ultrasound machine uses the echo to create an image of your organs and soft tissues. You won’t hear the sound, and you won’t feel anything unusual during or after the test.
Ultrasound testing provides real-time imaging, allowing your physician to view the targeted tissues in detail. The entire process usually takes less than 30 minutes.