Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is a safe and painless radiologic imaging study. Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves without radiation to generate images of the internal structures of the body. The reflected sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time visual image. Due to the fact that ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show movement of internal tissues and organs. This will allow Molecular Imaging radiologists to see blood flow and organ performance functions.
Preparation for an ultrasound depends on the type of exam. For an abdominal exam, your doctor will ask you not eat or drink for 8 hours prior to the exam (except for medications, as instructed by your primary physician, with a small amount of water.) For pelvic or obstetric exams, we ask that you drink 32 oz. of water 30 minutes prior to the exam and avoid using the restroom. Having a full bladder is very important for obtaining the best images.
During your exam you will lie on a comfortable table, and our technologist will use a handheld device called an ultrasound probe or transducer. After a liquid gel is placed on the probe and/or the skin, this device will glide the probe on the skin in the area of interest . For certain ultrasound exams, your doctor will use specialized internal probes. For example, an endo-vaginal probe is used for most pelvic exams to create the most detailed images of the uterus and ovaries.
Upon finishing your ultrasound, you will be able to eat and resume your normal activity. One of the Molecular Imaging radiologists will interpret the ultrasound exam and send the results to your physician.