Yes, but fetal imaging is just one of many applications. Ultrasound can be used to image almost any soft tissue in the body, and it is particularly useful for organs in the abdomen and pelvic region. Many physicians also use ultrasound to observe blood flow in veins and arteries, which allows them to quickly diagnose life-threatening blood clots.
Ultrasound is excellent for distinguishing between fluid and solid structures within the body – an important but surprisingly difficult task for radiologists. Ultrasound also costs significantly less than MRI and CT, and it doesn’t require the use of radiation or contrast agents. Depending upon your condition, ultrasound may be used as a standalone imaging technique, or it may be used to complement the findings of an MRI exam or CT scan.
No, ultrasound does not involve any type of radiation. It uses only high-frequency sound waves, which are not known to have any adverse effects.
Ultrasound preparation varies significantly by exam type and body part. For more information about preparing for your exam, contact your American Health Imaging center for complete instructions.
Ultrasound depends upon the transmission of sound waves, and sound travels better through some substances than others. If you’re undergoing a pelvic exam, a full bladder provides an excellent medium for sound (water). Not all ultrasound exams require a full bladder, however. For complete instructions, consult your doctor, or call your American Health Imaging facility.
Digestion changes the shape and contents of abdominal organs, and eating or drinking too close to your exam may distort your images. Only some ultrasound exams require you to fast, however. For complete instructions, consult your doctor, or call your American Health Imaging center.
Unfortunately, no. While our ARRT-certified technologists are trained to perform ultrasound exams and collect images, they are not allowed to interpret the results. Board-certified radiologists will interpret your exam and provide your doctor with a thorough report.*
Board-certified radiologists will review and interpret your ultrasound results.* Your doctor will receive a written report and hardcopy images within 24 hours to a few days.