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An ultrasound scan, also called a sonogram, uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images inside the body. We offer a full range of ultrasound exams — from abdominal, renal and pelvic exams to thyroid, breast, carotid and vascular sonograms.
What happens during an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a painless process that utilizes a probe to emit and detect sound waves that create images of internal organs and vessels.
For the exam, you will be asked to lie down on a table. A technician, known as a sonographer, will apply a special jelly to your skin where the ultrasound transducer — similar in appearance to a microphone — will be placed. The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves through the body, which create an image as the waves bounce off of dense objects such as organs and bone.
The procedure typically lasts less than 30 minutes. Following the exam, you will be free to go about your day and normal activities.
Preparing for an ultrasound
- Abdominal/renal ultrasound:
If your exam is an abdominal or renal ultrasound, do not eat anything for 6 hours prior to your appointment. If you have a morning exam, do not eat anything after midnight the night before. Undigested food can block the sound waves, making it difficult to gather a clear picture.
- Pelvic/bladder ultrasound:
If your exam is a pelvic or bladder ultrasound, you will be asked to drink 4 glasses of clear liquid 30 minutes prior to the procedure. This will help to obtain better images.
Breast ultrasound is an essential tool for evaluating suspicious lumps in the breast that may be detected during mammography. In addition, breast ultrasound is a preferred imaging procedure for specific types of women, including women under 30, breast-feeding or pregnant women, and for women with dense breast tissue. It usually takes about 30 minutes to perform a breast ultrasound.
For more information or to make an appointment call (321) 842-5000.