Indication: Ultrasound is commonly used for diagnosis and for treatment (Ultrasound guided biopsies).
It can be used to examine internal organs such as the liver and kidneys, the pancreas, the thyroid gland, the testes and the ovaries, and others.
- External ultrasound
- For examinations of the head, chest, arms, legs and feet, no other preparation is needed. For examination of the abdomen, patient may be instructed not to eat or drink after midnight or for 8 hours before the investigation. For the pelvic area, patient may be asked to drink several glasses of water one hour before the test and to avoid urinating so that the bladder is full during the exam.
- Patient is positioned on an exam table, and a clear gel will be applied to the specific area. The gel is used to eliminate the air bubbles between the transducer and patient’s body since sound waves travel poorly through air. The transducer is pressed against the skin and moved back and forth to visualize the area of interest.
- Ultrasound is usually painless, though some patients experience mild discomfort from the pressure applied via the transducer, especially if you are required to have a full bladder for your exam. The examination usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
- Internal ultrasound
- To evaluate some part of the digestive system, for example, the esophagus, the chest lymph nodes, or the stomach, an endoscope may be used.
- A light and an ultrasound device are attached to the end of the endoscope, which inserted into the patient’s body, usually through the mouth.
- Before the procedure, patients are given medications to reduce any pain.