Ultrasound is a safe, painless diagnostic procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to visualize parts of the body and create images. Ultrasound images can also be enhanced with Doppler techniques to diagnose blood clots by capturing images of blood moving through blood vessels.
Ultrasound imaging uses high-frequency sound waves to look at organs and structures inside the body. Health care professionals use it to view the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver, and other organs. During pregnancy, doctors use ultrasound to view the fetus. Unlike x-rays, ultrasound does not expose you to radiation.
During an ultrasound test, you lie on a table. A special technician or doctor moves a device called a transducer over part of your body. The transducer sends out sound waves, which bounce off the tissues inside your body. The transducer also captures the waves that bounce back. The ultrasound machine creates images from the sound waves.
Ultrasound has been used in a variety of clinical settings, including obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology and cancer detection. The main advantage of ultrasound is that certain structures can be observed without using radiation.
Ultrasound is the simplest and most informative way to examine symptoms of swelling, pain or infection. It does not cause any harm to the patient like the possible radiation from x-rays and other imaging tools. Sonography is widely available and usually covered by insurance, in addition to being less expensive than the alternative CT Scans, X-rays and MRIs.