Ultrasounds are one of the most common tests ordered during pregnancy. In fact, when you hear the word ultrasound, it’s probably what most often comes to mind. However, this noninvasive diagnostic tool is used for so much more than checking fetal development.
Ultrasounds use high frequency sound waves to produce internal images of your body in real time. This means they can capture movements such as blood flowing through your arteries and veins for a more accurate depiction of any dysfunction. Ultrasound imaging is used to diagnose medical conditions involving the heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs in the abdominal region. Even after diagnosis, ultrasound is helpful in monitoring medical conditions such as heart function, cancerous cells, and kidney stones.
Types of Ultrasounds
You are probably more familiar with ultrasound than you’re aware. Some diagnostic tests are forms of ultrasound but have their own name. For instance, an echocardiogram (EKG) is a type of ultrasound imaging used to diagnose other cardiovascular conditions, and check heart function following a heart attack.
A venous doppler exam is another form of ultrasound. Venous doppler exams are used to check the flow of blood through the veins of the arms or legs and are useful in diagnosing blood clots.
An abdominal ultrasound is used to visualize the internal organs of your abdomen including your liver, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder, and intestines to assess function and size of the organs. Abdominal ultrasounds are used to diagnose a myriad of diseases, anything from an abdominal aortic aneurysm to appendicitis can often be found with ultrasound imaging. This test can also help your doctor find gall or kidney stones, benign and malignant tumors, fluid in the abdominal cavity, or pancreatitis.
Breast ultrasounds are often used as a follow-up test after abnormalities have been found during a physical exam or after a mammogram. Sometimes, breast lumps can be felt but are not seen in a mammogram. Ultrasounds are often able to see these lumps and can help determine if a lump is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass.
Ultrasounds are an irreplaceable tool useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of countless medical conditions. They provide your doctor with imaging without exposing you to radiation or (often unnecessary) exploratory surgery.
If your doctor has ordered an ultrasound, trust our experienced radiologists at Independent Imaging for your diagnostic imaging. We have three offices in Palm Beach County with the most advanced and sophisticated technology available. Call us today at (561) 795-5558, or request an appointment online.