Ultrasound Medical Service

What is an Ultrasound Scan?

Sonography or more commonly, Ultrasound imaging is a medical service that utilises high frequency sound waves to provide information about the inside of the body. These sound waves depict the shape, size and texture of blood vessels and internal organs. Since ultrasound waves are unable to pass through gas, the bowel and the stomach are unable to be evaluated accurately.

Ultrasound relies on an oscillating sound pressure wave that has a frequency higher than the human hearing range; approximately 20,000 hertz or 20 kilohertz in young and healthy adults. There are a variety of ultrasound devices that work with frequencies ranging from 20 kilohertz up to several gigahertz; depending on the application.

Medical Sonography or Ultrasonography

Sonographers and radiologists rely on this technology to visualise tendons, muscles and a variety of internal organs. Over the past 5 decades, this technology has been able to showcase the size and shape of a variety of internal tissues. Their structure and any pathological lesions are captured and displayed on a computer screen. These tomographic images are often displayed in real time.

Different Kinds of Ultrasounds

A sonogram refers to the image that is produced during ultrasonography; a diagnostic imaging service that relies on ultrasound to see items inside the body. Both words; sonogram and ultrasound are used in common English to refer to the ultrasonography procedure.

The most popular ultrasounds evaluate the following:

  • Pelvic region
  • Abdominal
  • Testes

Ultrasound Safety

If you are curious to how safe this procedure is, rest assured that no harmful side effects have been noted in standard diagnostic ultrasounds. They use non-ionizing radiation to obtain information.

Pregnancy Screening

Pregnant women commonly undergo an ultrasound to produce a sonogram at least once and sometimes more frequently during their pregnancy. This medical service observes how the fetus is growing and provides vital information including:

  1. The estimated age of the fetus
  2. The estimated size of the fetus
  3. The estimated due date
  4. To diagnose internal issues including pelvic bleeding
  5. To check for multiple fetuses

Note that the ultrasound technician is typically forbidden from sharing information with you regarding the scan. Expectant couples in particular often are excited to find out the sex of their unborn child during the exam; however, you will have to wait until your doctor receives the results.

Additional Reasons an Ultrasound May Be Ordered

  • Diagnose certain kinds of cancer
  • Reveal abnormalities in the prostate and genitalia
  • Diagnose gallbladder disease
  • Study your heart and cardiovascular health
  • Check your Thyroid gland
  • Evaluate abnormalities of tendons and muscles
  • Diagnose certain kinds of infection
  • Evaluate a breast lump or chronic breast pain
  • Guide a needle for tumor treatment or biopsy
  • Doctors commonly refer patients for an ultrasound to investigate pain in the abdomen and other parts of the body.

Do I need to prepare for the Ultrasound scan?

Depending on what your ultrasound is for, some preparation may be required. You will be given precise instructions at the time of booking. For example, some exams will require a full bladder for a better picture and you will be asked to drink lots of water prior to the exam. However, other times you may have to fast instead. If you are unsure, check with the clinic ahead of time.

Do I Need To Remove My Clothes?

Depending on what portion of the body is being scanned, you may be asked to change into a gown prior to having the exam. Most often you will lie face up on the exam table. The technician will apply a gel to their transducer or ultrasound probe as well as onto your skin. The transducer is moved over the gel to acquire the images.

Increasing In Popularity

Many First Aid cases and Trauma teams are relying on ultrasound techniques to discover what is going on internally. It is becoming a staple for many emergency response teams. Teleconsultation is using ultrasound in remote cases as well in terms of scientific experiments for mobile sport team diagnosis and even space experiments!

Private Clinics

Private clinics such as Affidea are becoming a popular option as many traditional hospital settings are extremely short staffed and over booked. If you are considering having an ultrasound for a potentially serious condition, it could be worth your while to consider seeking out what private clinic options are available in your area. Patients can often be seen within 24 to 48 hours!

Be proactive in your health care. Private clinics may be your best option when you are dealing with a potentially serious health concern. This is especially the case if your doctor is awaiting the ultrasound results to determine what your next course of action will be.

Simply phone a private clinic and book your appointment. They will be able to give you an estimate over the phone of what the cost will be. Make sure to bring your doctor's requisition with you to the appointment