Ultrasound Defined

An ultrasound is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within the body. Ultrasounds are used for monitoring the stages of pregnancy, but also provide physicians with valuable information for diagnosing and treating many diseases and conditions. To perform an ultrasound examination, the physician typically uses a sonar device held outside the body. Gel is placed on the skin to reduce friction.

Primary Principles

In the late 1950’s physicians began to use ultrasound for diagnosing medical conditions. They use sound waves greater than 20,000 Hertz (cycles) per second in order to see through tissues of the body. A combination of high frequency sound and echoes are used to produce images like those pregnant mother’s receive when ultrasound is performed outside the belly during pregnancy. The technique is similar to how bats, whales and dolphins communicate, and the sonar used by submarines. First, the ultrasound machine transmits sound pulses into your body using a probe (handheld device). Next, the sound waves travel into your body and hit the boundary between tissues. Some sound waves will be reflected back, while other travel on until they reach another boundary. Reflected sound waves are picked up by the probe and relayed back to the machine. The machine first measures the distance between the probe and the tissue or organ, and then displays this distance in a two dimensional image.

Treatments & Therapies

Ultrasound technology helps physicians address a variety of diseases and conditions, and provides unparalleled insight. Ultrasounds are used to:

  • View the uterus and ovaries of pregnant women to assess the fetus
  • Diagnose gallbladder disease
  • Evaluate flow in blood vessels
  • Used in biopsies and tumor treatment to guide the needle
  • Evaluate breast lumps (cancer check-ups)
  • Check a thyroid gland
  • Diagnose certain cancers
  • Reveal genital and prostate abnormalities

Ultrasound exams are safe procedures that use low-power sound waves with no associated risks to the patient.

Diagnostic Ultrasound at Dayton Dandes Medical Center

At Dayton Dandes Medical Center we provide non-invasive ultrasound exams. There is little to no preparation required before an ultrasound exam. You may be asked not to eat or drink for up to 6 hours before the exam. Other ultrasounds may require a full bladder, so you may be asked to drink up to 6 glasses of water two hours before the exam. Speak with your physician prior to the exam for specific instructions. Ultrasounds are performed at our modern medical facility by trained professionals. Contact us to schedule your ultrasound exam.

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