Ultrasound s a medical imaging technique used to produce images of the human body. Ultrasounds can be used in many situations because they rely on sound waves rather than radiation. This technology is commonly used for obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, urology and many other specialties.

What to Expect During an Exam

Upon entering the exam room you will see the ultrasound equipment next to the patient table. A sonographer, a technologist trained in ultrasounds, will get you situated on the table, explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have. You may be asked to remove certain articles of clothing or change into a gown.

A gel will be applied to your skin, eliminating the air between the ultrasound’s transducer and your skin, thus allowing the sound waves to transmit into your body. The sonographer will glide the transducer over the area of interest to obtain the images. You may be asked to change positions to allow for the best views of the image. The gel is removed from your skin after the images have been captured.

Impact of an Ultrasound

As the ultrasound relies on sound waves rather than radiation, there is no exposure to radiation during this procedure. The exam is painless with no side effects.

Length and Preparation for Exam

Depending on the area of the body to be examined, an ultrasound generally takes 20 to 30 minutes. Some exams may take longer. On the day of the appointment some procedures require you to fast or drink prior to the exam. Otherwise, you may go about your normal routine. Should your exam require special preparation, your physician will give you instructions.

Getting Results

After your exam, a radiologist specializing in ultrasound will analyze and interpret the images from the exam and prepare a report. The report will be sent to your physician who will share the results with you. To request a copy of the written report, please contact your physician’s office.