Not Just For Pregnancy: The Many Faces Of Ultrasound Technology
When people think of an 'ultrasound' they often think of pregnancy, but this modality is more diverse than many may think. Ultrasound is one of our most popular diagnostic imaging tools for its powerful imaging capabilities. Here's an in-depth look into ultrasound technology.
So what is ultrasound exactly?
Diagnostic ultrasound imaging is commonly called sonography or ultrasonography. Ultrasound is like ordinary sound except it has a frequency higher than human beings can hear (think of a dog whistle). When these sounds are sent into the body, the sound is reflected off internal structures. The returning echoes are received and converted into an image of the internal structures on a viewing screen.
Why would I need one?
Plenty of reasons! Let’s say, for example, that you are having pain in your abdomen. An ultrasound could help deduce the following:
· To look for causes of upper abdominal pain, including gallstones, cholecystitis, pancreatitis, kidney stones, or blockage in blood vessels of the intestines.
· To look for causes of lower abdominal pain, including appendicitis, inflammation of the small and large intestines, and inguinal hernias.
· To look for abnormalities that may be present in the abdominal organs, such as masses or enlargements in the spleen or liver.
· To evaluate for urinary frequency or incontinence.
· To look for enlargements (aneurysms) of the abdominal aorta.
· To evaluate for problems of flow in the blood vessels of the various abdominal organs.
· To evaluate for thyroid enlargement, nodules or cysts
That’s just a fraction of what an ultrasound could find. It may not provide all of the information your doctor needs, but it’s an excellent starting point.
Ultrasounds do much more than just pregnancy, it plays an important role in diagnosing various diseases and is a popular diagnostic imaging tool. Feel free to give us a call if you have any diagnostic imaging needs!