Our extensive ultrasound department provides the highest level of care to our patients using modern ultrasound technology seven days a week. Exams are performed by registered sonographers and interpreted by radiologists with specialty expertise.
What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is similar to the sonar that submarines use to navigate underwater. During the scan, sound wave vibrations enter your body and then echo back and create the ultrasound image. These vibrations are so gentle that they cannot be felt, do not give off radiation and have no known harmful effects.
What Happens During the Scan?
A sonographer, a health care professional specially trained in the use of ultrasound, will apply a gel to the skin over the area being examined. The gel maximizes contact between the transducer (a microphone-like device) and the skin, thereby producing high-quality images. The sonographer then passes the transducer over the targeted area and obtains the desired diagnostic data.
Abdominal, Aorta, and Pelvic Ultrasound
Ultrasound is used to assess organs in the abdomen and pelvis for pain and other symptoms including kidney stones, liver disease, gallstones, other inflammatory diseases. Color Doppler ultrasound is a separate analysis that measures the arterial and venous blood flow into and out of the internal organs being examined.
A carotid ultrasound is a non-invasive, painless test that uses high-frequency sound waves to image the neck arteries. Atherosclerosis may occur in the blood vessels in the neck (the “carotid arteries”) which supply blood to the brain.
Ultrasound is very useful for imaging the thyroid and can show many nodules that cannot be felt. It helps to determine if a lump is benign or requires a biopsy, and can show if a thyroid nodule has grown over time. Ultrasound is also used to guide the thin needle during a thyroid biopsy. Read about our thyroid center.
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test that can evaluate the structures of the heart, as well as the direction of blood flow within it. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create pictures of your heart’s chambers, valves, walls and the blood vessels (aorta, arteries, veins) attached to your heart. Read about our cardiology department.
Ultrasound has a wide variety of applications for imaging blood vessels including arteries and veins. Lower extremity venous ultrasound is typically performed if a clot in the vein is suspected. Lower extremity arterial ultrasound may be performed in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Read about our cardiology department.