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UltrasoundUltrasound is performed by specially trained technologists called ultrasound technologists or sonographers. It uses high frequency sound waves to transmit images of internal organs and other fluid filled structures of the body.

Sound waves are sent and received by an instrument called a transducer. The transducer is used to scan areas of the body. Sound waves bounce off solid internal objects producing images of the internal structures on a computer screen.

Ultrasound is used to:
  • Assess fetal development
  • Detect internal injuries, organ abnormalities and tumors
  • Evaluate internal functioning of the heart, blood vessels and arteries
  • Guide the insertion of needles and small instruments in a variety of procedures such as biopsies

The patient lies on an examining bed. A water-based gel is spread over the area to be imaged. The technologist uses a transducer (a small hand held device) to acquire images by moving the transducer over the area of the body being examined. Images are shown in real time on a computer monitor which is sometimes visible to the patient.

The ultrasound procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete. The procedure is painless but patients may experience discomfort when a full bladder is required to exam the pelvic area.


Updated May 9, 2019