Ultrasound is sound waves with frequencies higher than the upper audible limit of human hearing. Ultrasound is not different from "normal" (audible) sound in its physical properties, except that humans cannot hear it. Ultrasound is used to image various areas of the body such as the liver, kidneys and thyroid, and to examine OB/GYN, cardiac and musculoskeletal conditions.
Ultrasound does not use radiation to obtain images so it’s a relatively safe exam. Ultrasounds have to be ordered by a clinician and can be performed in a clinic or hospital setting. Ultrasound technologists will use various probes to scan the area of interest and obtain diagnostic images. Ultrasound can also be used for biopsies and procedures. You will hear the frequency noises while scanning, which is normal. The technologist may need to check blood flows depending on the exam ordered.
What to Expect
After you arrive for your exam, your ultrasound technologist will take you to the ultrasound exam room. The technologist will verify your name, DOB and ensure we have the correct order. The tech will ask you some medical history questions and then describe the exam you will be having.
The tech will expose the scanning area, apply ultrasound gel to their ultrasound probe and begin scanning. You may feel some pressure from the technologist pushing the probe, but overall this should not cause much discomfort.
The ultrasound technologist is not able to give you results as this is outside of their scope of practice. Once the exam is completed, the technologist will show you out and your provider should have results within 2 business days.