Ultrasound (Sonography)

Sonography is a medical diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves, also known as ultrasound waves, which are reflected off the  tissues in the body to produce an image. The procedure is often known as an Ultrasound or a sonogram.

The Goal of the Test

A sonogram picture will reveal the sizes and shapes of structures within the body, both good and bad. The harder and denser the tissue (bone is the hardest and densest), the more sound waves it reflects to  the transducer and the brighter the resulting picture.

A sonogram is most widely used during pregnancy to track the growth of the uterus and fetus. It may also be used to assess glands, breast lumps, joint conditions, testicular lumps, and direct needles during biopsies.

How is the operation carried out?

Many ultrasound scans would have you lying face-up on an exam table that can be flipped or shifted. Patients may be rotated on either side to increase picture clarity.

After positioning you on the examining table, the radiologist (a specialist specially qualified to supervise and interpret radiology examinations) or sonographer can add a warm water-based gel to the region of the body being examined. 

The gel can assist the transducer in making safe contact with the body and can remove air pockets between the transducer and the surface, which will prevent sound waves from entering your body. The transducer is mounted on the body and rotated over the region of interest until the desired photographs are collected.

Dangers and contraindications

A sonogram is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure with no known risks. Ultrasound waves are considered to be harmless, and the measurement is normally conducted on the skin’s surface. When used directly on the skin’s surface, sonography poses no known hazards or complications.

Although the energy of the ultrasound waves can irritate or interrupt tissues with extended exposure, the computer modulates the strength of the sound, and a skilled technician employs techniques to reduce exposure times and angles. As a result, sonography is the most risk-free imaging procedure.

Interpreting the Findings

Many sonography findings can be interpreted by a radiologist in a matter of minutes. The observations would explain what is on the photos and what they can imply. Based on the part of the body examined, this may signify a variety of items.

Typically, the findings will be returned to the practitioner for you to review. If you haven’t heard back within a week, make sure to follow up. You may also order a copy of the radiologist’s report and a cd containing the original photographs if necessary.