Ultrasound or Sonography is a versatile imaging tool that uses sound waves instead of radiation to see inside the body.
This technology can be used to diagnose and stage cancer, determine the location of abnormal structures for specimen collection, or help guide an Interventional Radiologist perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
What to expect during an ultrasound
A warm gel is put on the skin. A transducer placed on the skin sends and receives the images. These tests are usually not painful. By capturing images in real time, ultrasound exams demonstrate the structure and movement of internal organs, such as the liver, kidneys and blood vessels. Types of ultrasound include: abdominal, pelvic, prostate, renal, testicular, and thyroid.
Abdominal ultrasound images of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, bile ducts, kidneys, spleen and aorta. When having this procedure done, patients must fast between six and eight hours prior to their appointment.
Pelvic ultrasound provides images of the uterus and ovaries. When having this procedure done, patients need to have a full bladder, either by drinking water or by a catheter inserted into the bladder.
- Doppler Exams
Doppler ultrasound produce color images of arteries and veins in the neck, arms or legs. The Doppler allows the physician and the sonographer to hear the blood flow through the vessels.
- Thoracentesis / Paracentesis
The radiologist inserts a catheter into a fluid pocket to drain fluid with guidance from an ultrasound technologist and nurse. A numbing medication is given first by the radiologist to make the procedure more comfortable. When having this procedure done, patients can have clear liquids only prior to the exam. Afterwards, patients often feel better and can continue to have an improved quality of life.
- Biopsy Procedures
The radiologist inserts a needle into the area of concern for the biopsy to collect specimen to help in diagnosing and staging cancer. A numbing medication is given first by the radiologist to make the procedure more comfortable. When having this procedure done, patients can have clear liquids only prior to the exam.