Ultrasound is a widely available, medical imaging technique that has been used for years. Fast, painless and safe, ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves instead of radiation for obtaining images of the inside of the body. The sound waves bounce off the part of body being imaged and these reflected sound waves, or echoes, are captured and recorded.
Real Time, Real Benefits
Ultrasound offers images in real time. This means it can show the movement of internal tissues, organs and blood vessels. For example, your physician can see blood flow and heart valve function. It is commonly used for imaging the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas and kidneys.
Ultrasound is also used to detect breast abnormalities such as whether a lump is a cyst or solid. It can further evaluate a problem seen on a mammogram because it can show all areas of the breast, including the area closest to the chest wall which is hard to see with a mammogram alone.
Ultrasound is a helpful tool for minimally-invasive procedures such as needle biopsies when the ultrasound image is used to guide the placement of the needle.
How do I prepare for the exam?
- At the time you schedule your appointment, you will be provided with specific instructions, as preparation for your ultrasound will vary depending upon the type of exam you are scheduled to receive. The representative will also verify your health and insurance information.
- If available, please bring previous imaging study results (MRI, CT scan, X-rays, etc.), such as reports, films or CD’s.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to verify your registration information.
What should I expect during the exam?
- You will lie on a cushioned table and gel will be applied to your skin. The gel acts as a conductor.
- A transducer, a hand-held device that sends and receives ultrasound signals, is moved over the area of your body being imaged.
- Images are instantly captured on a television-like monitor and transferred to the radiologist to review and interpret.
- Depending on the type of exam, your ultrasound will last 20-60 minutes.
What happens after the exam?
- A radiologist who specializes in the specific area of the body that was examined will review your images.
- The radiologist prepares a diagnostic report to share with your doctor.
- Your doctor will consider this information in context of your overall care and talk with you about the results.
Types of Ultrasound Applications
Ultrasound is used to detect gallstones, as well as abnormalities in the liver, pancreas, and spleen. It is also used to monitor kidney transplant patients.
Blood Vessel Stenosis/Diease
Ultrasound evaluates blood vessels at risk for aneurysm (ballooning) or stenosis (abnormal narrowing).
Transvaginal ultrasound helps determine the cause of pain or bleeding in a women's reproductive organs. These tests often provide better images that traditional ultrasound and are used in early pregnancies and for pelvic procedures. Ultrasound can locate lumps in organs or tissues. It is useful as a guide with needle biopsies, and helps detect prostate cancer or breast cancer while monitoring treatment.
The ultrasound transducer is used to detect swelling, bleeding or foreign objects in the eye.
Ultrasound is used to check the health and development of your baby. It can determine if you are going to have multiple babies or rule out potential problems in-vitro.
To make an appointment, please call:
Hillsborough County: (813) 635-3610
Pinellas/Pasco Counties: (727) 461-8555