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All About Ultrasound

By DuPage Medical Group Radiology

Ultrasound is the use of high-frequency sound waves sent through the body and back to produce an image using multiple shades of grey on a monitor. Ultrasound is used to visualize size, structure, texture and sometimes blood flow in the organs. Collectively a radiologist or physician can use this data to evaluate the status of the organ or pathology. Unfortunately ultrasound is not able to visualize any structures containing bowel or air so it cannot evaluate the stomach, intestines or colon.

Benefits to Ultrasound
  • It is free of radiation
  • There are no side effects
  • There are no injections or needles
  • It is safe at any age
  • Ultrasound is fairly easy for children and infants
Common Ultrasound Uses
  • Abdominal organs: Liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, abdominal aorta, urinary bladder
  • Female organs: uterus, ovaries and pelvic cavity
  • Male organs: scrotum
  • Vascular studies: venous doppler to evaluate for DVT (Blood clot) in the arms and legs and Carotid arteries.
  • Other studies: thyroid and superficial structures to evaluate for lymph nodes, lipomas and sometimes abdominal wall or inguinal hernias
  • Infant studies: pylorus, hip, spine, brain as well as limited areas of the colon to find the appendix or evaluate for intussusception.
During Your Appointment

When you have an appointment for an ultrasound, the technologist will take images of the organs that your doctor wants to evaluate. The technologist then sends the information from your test to a radiologist. After the radiologist reviews your images they send a finalized report to the doctor that ordered the exam. Results are typically sent two days after your appointment. You should follow-up with your doctor’s office for your results. 


Topics and Subtopics: Diagnostic Testing & Radiology

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