Although most people tend to think of an ultrasound as something that’s used to view babies growing within a woman’s womb, the truth is that ultrasound imaging is commonly used for a wide variety of medical purposes. Pregnancy ultrasounds may be the most common type, but radiologists can also use this same technology to examine organs and other soft tissues.
Diagnosing Illnesses through Ultrasound Imaging
Ultrasounds are a powerful tool during pregnancy as they allow doctors to detect a range of potential problems and ensure that the baby is growing properly. Similarly, doctors may also order an ultrasound order to detect and diagnose health conditions in various other body parts. This list includes, but is not limited to, testicles, ovaries, uterus, spleen, liver, kidneys, thyroid, and blood vessels.
Ultrasounds can be a powerful tool in helping to detect cancers, and they can also be used to identify the presence of kidney stones and gallstones. In addition, ultrasounds can also be used to examine blood vessels to identify blockages and blood clots.
Use of Ultrasounds in Medical Procedures
In addition to being used for diagnostic purposes, radiologists also use ultrasound imaging in order to assist doctors and surgeons to perform a variety of different medical procedures. One example is in performing biopsies, where an ultrasound is used to help the doctor ensure that he or she is removing tissue from precisely the right area.
Two-Dimensional, Three-Dimensional, and Doppler Ultrasounds
The majority of ultrasounds are two-dimensional, which provides a flat 2D image of the structure that is being examined. However, new technology has allowed radiologists to use the same imaging to create three-dimensional pictures. With a 3D ultrasound, numerous 2D images are taken and then compiled together by a computer to result in a three-dimensional image. At The Radiology Clinic, 3D imaging of the uterus can be performed to look for uterine anomalies and other abnormalities.
There is also a third type of ultrasound known as a Doppler ultrasound, which can be used to measure the speed at which something is moving, such as the rate of blood flow. The Radiology Clinic can perform all types of Doppler and vascular ultrasounds performed by experienced registered vascular technologists (RVT).
Internal vs. External Ultrasounds
The majority of ultrasounds are done by placing the transducer wand on the surface of the skin, whereby the radio waves penetrate into the body and are reflected to create an image of whatever lies directly underneath. However, while these external ultrasounds are by far the most common type, there are also a number of different types of internal ultrasounds. With internal ultrasounds, a special transducer is inserted into a body cavity in order to create a more accurate image of a particular organ or part of the body. For instance, a transvaginal ultrasound is often used to obtain a clearer image of a woman’s ovaries and uterus.
In summary, ultrasound is a very powerful diagnostic tool. Far more than just being for pregnant women, ultrasounds are commonly used to diagnose a wide range of health problems. The Radiology Clinic performs all types of ultrasounds with quality imaging performed by experienced and kind technologists and radiologists.