Ultrasound is a term that we come across everyday and we’ve seen people around us getting this test done. But what ultrasound really is? For those who are still living under the rock, ultrasound is a type of medical test that brings to use high frequency sound waves in order to capture live images of the inside of your body. Also popularly referred as Sonography, today ultrasound is one of the most widely used imaging techniques by doctors all over the world to identify problems inside the human body. What differentiates ultrasound from all the other imaging techniques is that it does not use any kind of radiation. Here in this blog we will look deeply into the purpose, procedure and preparation of ultrasound scan.
Purpose of Ultrasound
Most of the people associate the term ultrasound with pregnancy but the medical test has many purposes beyond it. Yes, ultrasound is most commonly used in scanning the stomach of a mother to be. The medical test provides the mother with the first view of her unborn child. Apart from pregnancy, ultrasound has also a wide variety of other purposes such as detecting problems in kidney, liver, eyes, bladder, brain and other vital body parts. Also the medical technique is very helpful in guiding the surgeon’s movement in complex medical procedures such as biopsies.
How to Prepare yourself for an Ultrasound Test
There is no predefined preparation for the ultrasound test but it all depends upon the body part or organ that has to be tested. In cases when the abdomen of the patient is to be examined the doctor will tell you to fast before eight hours. In other cases such as liver, gall bladder or pancreas the doctor may tell you to keep away from fat free food. For distinct cases there are different types of do’s and don’ts that doctors often advise patients. Before an ultrasound test you should inform the doctor about any medications or drugs that you have been prescribed. Be open to your doctor and follow his instructions carefully in order to avoid any kind of inconvenience later on. Although there are no side effects of an ultrasound tests but you need to adhere to the precautions briefed by your doctor.
How the Ultrasound is Actually Conducted
The ultrasound test is basically done lying down with the part meant to be tested left exposed. An ultrasound professional is called a sonographer and has deep knowledge about the imaging technique. When you visit an ultrasound clinic the sonographer applies some special kind of lubricant jelly to your body skin. The main motive behind it is to create friction so that the ultrasound transducer can be rubbed easily on the skin and moreover it also helps in transmitting the sound waves. The transducer then sends high frequency sounds, the waves then echo and reflect back once they hit any dense object such as a bone or any organ. This forms an image on the computer that can be interpreted by a doctor. The process usually doesn't take much time to complete but the time may vary depending on the complexity and on which part of the body is being examined.