What is An Ultrasound Scan?
Ultrasound scan is a medical diagnostic scan also known as sonography test or ultrasonogram or USG test. As the name says, Ultrasound scan uses sound waves for creating images of part of body that is to be diagnosed. These sound waves are of high frequency and cannot be heard by human beings.
How It Works?
During an ultrasound scan, sound waves travel freely through soft tissues and fluid. These waves generate an echo when they collide with a soiid surface or a denser object. For ex - During the ultrasound of gallbladder, sound waves travel through the gall bladder and generate an echo (reflect sound waves) when strike with gallbladder stone. Images can clearly show the location and size of these stones.
The patient is asked to lie on a table. A lubricating gel is applied on the skin over the body part to be diagnosed. The gel help sound waves travel through the skin to internal organ. A probe is placed over the skin and sound pulses are sent through the skin via probe. Echoes of different intensity are generated through various structures and sent back via probe to monitor. Images or video recording is created usisng the output.
Time Duration - Typical ultrasound or USG scan takes 15 to 45 minutes
Preparations For Ultrasound
Preparations for an ultrasound scan depend on the part of body or the organ that is to be examined. Different types of preparations are required for different organs.
For an abdominal ultrasound doctor may ask for minimum 12 hours of fasting because undigested food may interfere with the movement of sound waves and hence clear pictures are hard to obtain.
For examination of gall bladder, pancreas or spleen your doctor may ask for a light diet or even a liquid diet and then overnight fasting to get clear images. For transvaginal examination, doctors ask to drink lots of water and to hold the urine to get clear pictures of uterus or bladder.
In case of the patient is on some kind of medication or in case of a health condition, doctor may ask for some special preparations.
Uses of Ultrasound Scan
An ultrasound test helps in diagnosing diseases associated with internal organs and structures of the body. It is a painless, non-invasive technique to examine internal diseases. Ultrasound scanner uses high frequency sound waves and not radiations to create images of internal structures and hence this technique is very safe for most of the diagnostic scans including pregnancy ultrasound scans. Sound waves travel freely through fluid and soft tissues. When ultrasound pulses are sent diagnose an internal organ, they travel through the organ and reflect when they hit a solid or denser surface. The reflection or echo helps in identifying size, location, abnormalities in shape or structure of the body part.
Below Are Some Most Common Ultrasound Scans
Pregnancy Scans - Prenatal ultrasound, fetal ultrasound Liver Ultrasound
Gall Bladder Ultrasound
Testes, Ovaries, Kidneys, Lymph Notes
Breast Scan For Breast Cancer Examination Surgeons use ultrasound during surgery for deeper look into the structures
Ultrasound used for diagnosing problems in heart is known as Echocardiography
Helps in taking samples for biopsies
Doppler ultrasound is used to detect problems in moving blood cells while duplex ultrasound is a combination of traditional and Doppler ultrasound. Hence the cost of ultrasound also varies depending on the type and part.
Pregnancy Ultrasound also known as prenatal test is used to diagnose pregnant women. Pregnant women get more than one ultrasound during pregnancy. In the initial phase of pregnancy, transvaginal or TVS ultrasound is recommended. This allows doctor to see the fetus even before it is detectable on a TAS ultrasound
Usually two sonograms are recommended during pregnancy
Level 1 Ultrasound (For 5 to 6 weeks pregnancy) - Used to determine number of fetuses, date of pregnancy and fetal heartbeat
Level 2 Ultrasound (For 18 to 22 weeks pregnancy) - Also know as anomaly scan. It is used to detect growth of baby and fetal movements, growth of internal organs of baby and detecting birth defects
Overuse of ultrasound scan during pregnancy is not recommended
Types Of Ultrasound Scan
Most of the ultrasounds are done by sending sound pulses through the skin surface using a probe. But in some special cases, a transducer is used for generating clearer images by inserting it into a natural opening.
Transvaginal Or TVS Ultrasound - It is used to get clear images of uterus and ovaries
Transrectal Ultrasound - It is used to diagnose prostate conditions
Transesophageal Ultrasound - To obtain clearer images of heart
Different Types of Imaging that Ultrasound Technology Offers --
Color Doppler - It is used to create images of blood flow through the blood vessels. It helps doctors in assessing blockages or reduced flow of blood in vessels which cas cause stroke
Bone Sonography - It is used to dtect osteoporosis
Echocardiograms - Used to diagnose problems in heart
3D Imaging - Creates three dimensional interpretations
4D Imaging - Creates 3D images in motion
Prices for an ultrasound scan may vary from one lab to other. Price also depends on the type of ultrasound. Below is price chart for some popular ultrasound scans.
Lowest cost of Color Doppler is Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and NCR starts at Rs 425.00
Lowest cost of 3D/4D Ultrasound in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and NCR starts ar Rs 600.00
Results Of An Ultrasound Scan
Images developed during an ultrasound scan are interpreted by the radiologist. Radiologist creates a report based on the findings in images. These reports are shared with the physician or doctor who can ask for further tests. Plain x-rays can help evaluate further findings.