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.
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