Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation. Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels..
What are the advantages?
- Noninvasive (no needles or injections) and usually painless
- Less expensive than other imaging methods
- Provides a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on X-ray images
- Ultrasound provides real-time imaging, which makes it a good tool for guiding needle biopsies and needle aspirations.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
- Examine heart and blood vessels, including the abdominal aorta and its major branches
- Examine liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and bladder
- Examine uterus, ovaries and unborn child in pregnant patients
- Examine thyroid and parathyroid glands
- Guide procedures such as needle biopsies
- Image the breasts and guide biopsy of breast cysts or masses
- Diagnose a variety of heart conditions
- View blockages to blood flow (such as clots) and narrowing of vessels
- View tumors and congenital malformation
4-D available at Indian Path Medical Center, Johnson City Medical Center and Smyth County Community Hospital