What is an Ultrasound?


Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging tool that uses sound waves to “see” inside the body. This modality provides images of certain organs, vessels and soft tissue structures by using a transducer that passes sound waves through the skin. These sound waves or echoes bounce off internal structures to produce an image, much like sonar on boats and subs. While ultrasound is considered an effective imaging modality it does not travel through air or bone and is not useful for studying lungs, adult brain or boney structures.   


For more information about the many types of ultrasound, click here


Why do I need an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound examinations can help to diagnose a variety of conditions and to assess organ damage following illness.

Ultrasound is used to help physicians evaluate symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Infection

Ultrasound is also used to:

  • Guide procedures such as needle biopsies,
  • Image the breasts and to provide biopsy guidance

Ultrasound images can help the physician to see and evaluate:

  • Blockages to blood flow
  • Narrowing of vessels  
  • Tumors and congenital malformation.

Preparing for your Ultrasound

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You may need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined.  We ask you leave all valuables such as jewelry at home.

You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.

Other preparation depends on the type of examination you will have. For some scans your doctor may provide you with specific instructions.

Your Ultrasound Scan Results 

DMC board-certified radiologists will interpret your Ultrasound scan and send the results to your physician, usually within 24 hours.



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