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What is an Ultrasound? 

Ultrasonography is an imaging method which uses sound waves to produce images of organs and tissues within the body.  It is based on the same principles involved in sonar used by ships and fisherman.  Sound waves are directed at organs and tissues of the body.  When these waves encounter tissues, they bounce back and produce echoes.  These echoes are manipulated by the ultrasound machine to produce images of the body.


For Abdomen, RUQ, Liver, Gallbladder, Renal Arteries, &/or the Aorta the patient cannot eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the exam; a small amount of clear liquid with medication is okay.  For the Pelvis/Transabdominal the patient needs to drink 32oz of water 30 minutes prior to the exam so that the bladder is full.  No prep is needed for Renal, Thyroid, Carotid, Scrotal, Pelvis/Transvaginal, Venous Doppler or Arterial Doppler.

What to expect

An ultrasound exam is performed by a sonographer, a technician trained in ultrasound imaging.  The technician applies warm gel to the skin and presses a small hand held device, called a transducer, against your skin.  The transducer generates and receives sound waves.  The technologist moves the transducer over the skin overlying the tissues or organs in question.  Sound waves generated by the transducer bounce off tissues and organs within your body and reflected sound waves are recorded by the transducer.  Differing organs and tissues produce unique echoes or sound reflections.  This information is then sent to a computer which produces detailed images of the organ or body part in question based on the unique patterns created by the reflected sound.


Abdomen Venous Doppler – Extremities
RUQ / Gallbladder Arterial Doppler – Extremities                
Pelvis – Transabdominal / Transvaginal   Thyroid
Kidneys & Bladder Scrotum
Abdominal Aorta Infant Spine
Carotid Arteries Infant Hip
Chest / Mediastinum Breast