Medical situations that call for non-invasive examination is needed for better diagnosis of health issues. Scanning such as ultrasound and MRIs are few of the helpful tools that medical professionals rely on to check our bodies. Thankfully, these technologies exist to aid in knowing the source of our ailments so that we can get better soon.
What is ultrasound
Ultrasound or sonography is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses sounds to create images of internal body structures, such as soft tissues like internal organs and blood vessels. It uses sound waves with a frequency of more than 20,000 Hertz, which is pulsed into the tissue or skin using a probe. The soft tissues echo off soundwaves detected by the probe, which is projected as an image on the screen.
Ultrasound services offered in London and other UK clinics are popularly known as the practice of examining pregnant women. However, it is also often used to find the source of anomaly or disease or to exclude pathology since it is already identified through ultrasound. Here are other uses for ultrasound in the medical practice:
Where ultrasound is used
Abdominal scans are done when there are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, abnormal sounds and lumps. It is also used to investigate and examine internal organs like gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, and large blood vessels. The organs that contain air like the stomach and bowels cannot be checked through an ultrasound because the air does not permit transfer for sound waves.
Ultrasound is also used for pelvic scans, commonly performed on women suffering from pelvic pain or abnormal periods. It is also used to check for fibroids, cysts, and other conditions that are associated with women’s reproductive system. Pregnancy scans are used to check for foetal development, such as the position and size of the baby. It is also used to check for foetal abnormalities like spina bifida.
Ultrasound can also be used to check musculoskeletal structures like the shoulders, hips, or elbows. It can also supplement the investigation of abnormalities picked up through physical examination or mammogram — through breast scans using ultrasound. There is also another type of ultrasound called Doppler ultrasound, which is used to identify the speed and direction of blood flow in different regions of the body, like the neck arteries and leg veins.
An ultrasound procedure
A typical ultrasound procedure only takes around 20 to 40 minutes, depending on which type of ultrasound is done. An abdominal ultrasound requires a patient to lie down on a bed. The technologist or sonographer will place a gel, which provides better contact of the probe to the skin, on the area that is being scanned. They will also place the probe on the skin area being scanned, after which an image will appear on the monitor.
After an ultrasound, the technologist or sonographer will hand a paper towel to the patient to wipe off the gel, and then they can get dressed. The scan will be analysed further by technologists and will be sent to the doctors for further diagnosis, and patients will be required to have a follow-up appointment for the results.
Ultrasounds are an excellent way to know if any health issues should be managed right away. It is a helpful device that can be used for different scans on the body.