OverviewSonography, also commonly known as ultrasound, is a diagnostic medical examination that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce dynamic visual images of the fetus, heart, abdomen, pelvis, and blood vessels inside the human body. Sonography is also often referred to as a sonogram. After X-ray, sonography is the most used diagnostic imagining technique in the world. Sonography test help doctors and medical professional diagnose the size, shape, and density of internal body structure. So how does sonography work?
How Sonography WorksA sonographer (a highly-skilled diagnostic professional) uses a device called a transducer to send out ultrasound waves and listen for the echo. If the tissue is denser and harder, it bounces more high-frequency sound waves back to the transducer, and the sonogram image will be brighter. The probe emits a high-frequency sound that is inaudible to the human ears. As the probe is moved around it records echoes as the sound waves bounce back to the ultrasound machine to determine the size, shape and consistency of soft tissues and organs. This information is relayed in real-time to produce images on a computer screen. A diagnostic professional can see, measure, and identify structures in the image. It provides doctors with detailed images of what’s going on inside of patients.
Uses of SonographyA sonography exam provides key diagnostic information such as size, shape, and density of tissues to help the doctors diagnose about patient’s medical condition. Traditionally, ultrasound imagining helps look into the abdomen without incision. Particularly abdominal sonography is used to diagnose gallbladder disease, kidney disease, liver disease, appendicitis, and other conditions
How You Prepare for The TestThe steps you will take to prepare for an ultrasound will depend on the area or organ that is being examined. However, there are a few exceptions;
- For some scans, such as a gallbladder ultrasound, your doctor may ask that you not eat or drink for a certain period before the exam.
- Others, such as a pelvic ultrasound, may require a full bladder. Your doctor will let you know how much water you need to drink before the exam. Do not urinate until the exam is done.
- Young children may need additional preparation. When scheduling an ultrasound for yourself or your child, ask your doctor if there are any specific instructions you’ll need to follow.