When you hear the word "ultrasound" the first thing that comes to mind is likely a pregnant woman sitting in a medical exam room, being able to see her developing baby on a monitor. While this is a common and amazingly helpful use of ultrasound technology, it is not its only function. In honor of Medical Ultrasound Awareness month, this blog will shed light on the many uses of ultrasound technology.
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a non-invasive, safe medical machine that uses sound waves to view a patient's internal organs or a developing baby if the patient is pregnant. An ultrasound can allow medical providers to get a good view of a patient's insides to assist in a proper medical diagnosis,particularly if a patient is experiencing abnormal symptoms such as pain, discomfort or swelling. There are no proven side effects or risks of using ultrasounds.
What happens during an ultrasound?
During a standard ultrasound, gel is placed on the body area that will be examined as a conducter for the sound waves.The doctor or sonotech, who usually perform the examination will then place what is called the transducer on the gel and will press it gently against the skin, moving it around the designated body area. The transducer will then produce in-audible sound waves that are directed at the internal organs. As these sound waves are produced, the transducer simultaneously records the subtle changes in the sound's echoes as they hit the patient's internal body. The monitor attached to the transducer displays visual images of the internal organs based on these sound waves. The exam usually lasts no more than thirty minutes.
What body areas are ultrasounds used on?
What conditions are ultrasounds used for?
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