Many patients and doctors prefer the ultrasound over other diagnostic imaging tests. Ultrasound techniques rely on sound waves and their echoes to visualize tissues in the body.
An ultrasound scan offers many distinct advantages over other scans due to its safety and convenience. Some of the benefits of an ultrasound include the following:
Ultrasound technology is excellent at visualizing soft tissues, such as organs and muscles. As the sound waves encounter tissues of different densities, an echo reflects and is measured by the ultrasound technology.
The characteristics of the echo, such as its intensity and timing, are based on the features of the soft tissue. Since tumors and other abnormalities usually have a different density from the surrounding tissue, they tend to show up clearly on ultrasound scans.
Some imaging methods, such as X-rays, are less reliable for examining soft tissue. These tests work best for hard tissues such as bone.
Ultrasound imaging relies solely on high-frequency sound waves to form images. Unlike other imaging tests, ultrasounds do not utilize radiation – so it’s impossible to get radiation-related health problems from an ultrasound scan.
Also, many imaging methods require the use of substances called contrast agents. These compounds are necessary to highlight certain bodily issues during diagnostic imaging. Patients usually take contrast agents as oral medications or through injections, so these substances circulate throughout the entire body. Some people are allergic to contrast agents, and ultrasound can work without the use of these contrast dyes – thereby making the scanning process safer for them.
Even after decades of use, there are no documented health risks or side effects that come from exposure to the high-frequency sound waves that come from ultrasound. This high safety factor is the reason that many healthcare providers recommend ultrasound testing as a first-line imaging technique.
Usually, the ultrasound technician only needs to apply the probe to the areas that need visualization, such as the belly of a pregnant woman or the neck of someone having their thyroid gland checked. Other times, the radiologist will have to place the probe inside the body cavities to get images of specific organs, but this still doesn’t require breaking the skin or causing impact to the body. For example, a transvaginal ultrasound is necessary to get clear pictures of the uterus and ovaries.
Sometimes ultrasound is used for guidance during real-time operations, such as positioning a probe inside the body. Even in these scenarios, the ultrasound procedure itself does not involve breaking the skin.
Accessibility and Speed
Ultrasounds are usually quick, with most sessions lasting only for a few minutes. Even the most intensive ultrasound scans only take up to an hour at most. Hence, ultrasound diagnostics are convenient for people who might be on a busy schedule.
Ultrasound is also relatively inexpensive as compared to other imaging services. The only substance required for ultrasound imaging is the water-based gel used to help the signals from the probe travel through the skin and organs. The low costs translate to a lower medical bill, which is another reason that doctors first recommend ultrasound testing if suitable.
Quality Diagnostics in Palm Beach County
Ultrasound imaging is used for screening and first-line diagnostics because of its safety, accuracy, speed, and ease of use. For the best diagnostic services in South Florida, have your scan performed at Independent Imaging.
Our expert radiologists perform ultrasound scans and other imaging services that provide accurate and reliable results. We operate in Wellington, Belle Glade, Lake Worth, and Royal Palm Beach, ensuring that our patients can always find a location that works for them.
To schedule a medical scan or an imaging procedure, call us today at (561) 795-5558 or fill out our online appointment request form now. We look forward to seeing you here.