Ultrasound imaging. What was the first thought that came to your mind when you read that term? Most individuals automatically think of routine ultrasounds that are conducted during an expecting mother’s pregnancy; however, ultrasound imaging can be used to learn so much more about the human body.
What is ultrasound imaging?
When it comes to defining ultrasound imaging, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) details it perfectly: Ultrasound imaging, also known as ultrasound scanning or sonography, uses high-frequency radio waves to produce digital images of the human body. Ultrasound imaging captures digital images in real-time, avoids the use of ionizing radiation, and avoids the use of invasive imaging techniques.
The FDA continues, “In an ultrasound exam, a transducer (probe) is placed directly on the skin or inside a body opening. A thin layer of gel is applied to the skin so that the ultrasound waves are transmitted from the transducer through the gel into the body.” Finally, the image is produced based on the reflection of the waves off of the body structures. “The strength (amplitude) of the sound signal and the time it takes for the wave to travel through the body provide the information necessary to produce an image.”
What can ultrasound imaging detect?
Ultrasound images show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs as well as the blood flowing through the patient’s arteries and veins. Aside from analyzing a fetus during pregnancy, it can help physicians diagnose minor and severe medical conditions. These may involve conditions or diseases linked to the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, bladder, uterus, ovaries, and testicles. More specifically, some common diseases that can be discovered due to ultrasound imaging include gallstones or various cancers.
Official ultrasound imaging studies are characterized into these general categories:
- Carotid Duplex
- Abdominal Complete
- Abdominal Aorta, Inferior Vena Cava (IVC)
- Gallbladder, Pancreas, Liver
- Renal (Kidney)
- Pelvic (Transabdominal Non-OB), Prostate, Bladder
Similar to most other imaging techniques, ultrasound imaging has its parameters to which it can be practiced. Organizations, like the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, advocate for the safe and effective use of ultrasound in medicine in order to carefully continue detecting and treating patient conditions.
When performed properly by a trained technician, ultrasounds can help reveal crucial medical findings that can affect a patient’s healthcare. Trust a trained team of professionals, like the team at Windsor Imaging, to guide you through your first or routine ultrasound. With three locations and almost 20 years of imaging experience, Windsor Imaging’s staff is well-versed on everything regarding ultrasounds. Learn more about the foundation of ultrasound imaging and advancing practices used today by contacting Windsor Imaging.