Ultrasounds, also known as sonography, are a medical imaging technology that your provider may recommend for a variety of diagnostic and informational purposes.
The ultrasound device works by emitting high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the organs and structures in your body to create a precise image of their positions, function, and blood flow. While most ultrasound imaging is noninvasive, some require a device to enter your body.
Why do I need an ultrasound?
There are many reasons why you might need an ultrasound at Valley View Wellness Medical Center. They’re often essential for diagnosing conditions causing unusual pain or making sure a baby is developing properly in the womb.
Your physician might recommend an ultrasound for these or other reasons:
- Evaluating blood flow
- Assessing damage after a heart attack
- Finding blood clots
- Guiding a needle for a biopsy or precise injection
- Evaluating breast lumps
- Checking your glands
- Viewing inflamed joints
- Finding sources of pain or swelling
You can get an ultrasound on any part of your body to view any organ. Ultrasounds are low-risk because they don’t emit radiation. This is why they’re commonly used during pregnancy.
How should I prepare for my upcoming ultrasound appointment?
Your Valley View Wellness Medical Center physician gives you specific instructions for how to prepare for your ultrasound imaging appointment. While they largely depend on the organ that needs viewing, they might include:
- Fasting for up to a day before your appointment
- Avoiding fatty foods the night before
- Drinking lots of water and avoiding urinating
- Stopping your intake of certain drugs or supplements
- Wearing loose clothing to your appointment
When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll need to remove your jewelry. You might also have to remove some clothing or change into a loose gown.
What should I expect during my ultrasound procedure?
You’ll sit or lay down comfortably as your provider applies a gel onto your skin. It lubricates the area so the device can glide smoothly and prevents pockets of air between your skin and the device that can block the sound waves.
Then, your provider glides a handheld device across the specified area of skin nearest to the organ or injury in question. A black and white image of the inside of your body appears on a computer monitor.
Your provider will describe to you what you’re seeing and may ask you to change positions several times for a better view.
For expert ultrasounds, call Valley View Wellness Medical Center or book your appointment online today.