Ultrasound imaging, sometimes referred to as sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to create visual images of the internal body structures. As the sound waves pass through the body, some of the waves are absorbed by the body’s tissues, while others are reflected back. Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can actually show structure and movement within the body. While commonly known for their applications during pregnancy, ultrasounds are also great at detecting the source of pain within the body, as well as locating infection or tumors, and revealing blockages.
Some ultrasound exams require preparation. If there are dietary rules that correspond with your specific ultrasound, you’ll be notified ahead of time. You may be asked to change into a gown for your ultrasound exam. You’ll be asked to lie on the examination table, and the sonographer will apply a clear gel to the skin over the area that is being studied. The sonographer passes a small device, referred to as a transducer, over the skin. Once images have been collected, you’ll be allowed to get dressed and leave as soon as you’d like immediately following the procedure. Typically, these exams won’t last longer than half an hour.