What is Diagnostic Ultrasound?

Image of technician preforming ultrasound on a patientAn ultrasound study is a valuable diagnostic tool in assessing pain or other symptoms, as well as showing the size, shape and texture of many body parts that cannot be evaluated using conventional x-ray studies. This exam helps to detect organ problems, such as gallstones, kidney stones, or liver disease.

Areas frequently examined by ultrasound include the abdomen and pelvis. The heart (echocardiography) and various arteries and veins also can be studied using special techniques. Since there is no radiation involved, ultrasound is a safe test to examine pregnant women, evaluate fetal growth and determine due dates. In addition, Radiology Regional Center performs a non-surgical breast biopsy using ultrasound.

What can I expect during the exam?

Ultrasound is a safe, painless, non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves rather than x-rays or any type of radiation. The doctor or technologist will spread a water-based gel on the area to be examined that enhances sound waves. An instrument called a transducer will be placed on the part of the body to be examined.

Image of Accredited Echocardiography Laboratory logo

The transducer transmits the sound waves and receives echoes that return, similar to sonar from a dolphin or submarine. The returning echoes produce images on a monitor that can be filmed and used for diagnosis.


How do I prepare for the exam?

There is little preparation needed for most ultrasound procedures.

  • Do not eat or drink ANYTHING for six hours prior to the exam for any abdominal ultrasound involving the aorta, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, or kidneys. This will ensure the highest quality images.
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water one to two hours prior to the exam for a pelvic ultrasound. Do not urinate during this time as an uncomfortably full bladder is required for the exam.
    Check with your physician about taking your medications. Often medications are permitted with a small sip of water.


What can I expect after the exam?

Results will be called to your doctor immediately, followed by a written report within 48 hours.


Where is this exam offered?


Related Topics

Fibroids1.com - Your Complete Source for Fibroids & Uterine Health Information

Sonohysterography is an exam that is performed when a pelvic ultrasound has diagnosed an abnormal endometrium, which is the tissue that lines the uterus. It allows for further evaluation of the lining by distending the uterus with saline while imaging with ultrasound.

The most common indications for sonohysterography include post-menopausal bleeding, recurrent pregnancy loss, and infertility. The greatest advantage of this procedure is that it defines the lesion and its location in the uterus, thus assisting the gynecologist with biopsy or surgery planning. This is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia.


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Radiology Regional Center - serving the diagnostic needs of Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh, Estero, Bonita Springs, and Naples, Florida with X-Ray, MRI, CT, PET, Ultrasound, Digital Mammography, Mobile Mammography, DEXA, Breast Biopsy, Nuclear Medicine & Nuclear Cardiology, Vascular Screenings, Interventional Radiology, Varicose and Spider Vein Treatments, Aesthetic Treatments, and CT Health Screenings.