About Ultrasound Scan
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What is an Ultrasound Scan?
This is an imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. The instrument used in the procedure is called an ultrasound probe is. It emits high-frequency sound waves which bounce off different body parts creating echoes that are picked up by the probe and turned into moving images. During the procedure, the image is displayed on a monitor.What is an ultrasound used for?
This scan can be used for monitoring an unborn baby, diagnosing a condition or guiding a surgeon during certain procedures.Types of ultrasound scans
There three types of ultrasound scans and the type of ultrasound scan you have will be determined by the body part being scanned.How do I prepare
- External ultrasound scan: The ultrasound probe is placed onto the skin and moved over the body part being examined. A gel is applied to the skin to allow easy flow of the probe and continuous contact between skin and probe. This scan is noninvasive and painless and the only thing you will feel will be a coolness from the gel being applied and the probe on your skin.
- Internal ultrasound scan: You will be asked to lie on an examination table on your back or on your sides with your knees drawn up. The ultrasound probe with a sterile cover is gently inserted into the rectum or vagina and the images are transmitted to the monitor. This scan causes a little discomfort and if you feel any pain you should let your doctor know.
- Endoscopic ultrasound scan: This scan uses an endoscope that has an ultrasound device and a light on the end. The endoscope is inserted through the mouth into your body to examine body parts such as the gullet or stomach. You will be asked to lie on your side as the endoscope is gently and carefully pushed down towards your stomach. Once inserted it is used to create images which are displayed on a monitor. You will be given a local anesthetic spray to numb the throat area and a sedative to keep you calm.
What happens during an ultrasound scan?
- In some cases, you may be required to follow certain instruction to help improve the clarity and quality of the produced images.
- You may be instructed by the doctor to drink water and avoid going to the toilet until after the scan and to avoid eating for several hours before the scan.
- Most ultrasound scans are carried out in a hospital radiology department but they also are done in outpatient centers.
- An ultrasound scan usually lasts between 15 and 45 minutes.
- An ultrasound scan is performed by a sonographer or radiologist. They can also be performed by other health care professionals who have been trained in ultrasound.
- A sedative may be given to relax you.
- Sometimes a contrast agent is injected before the scan to make the images clearer.
Risks : Ultrasound scans do not expose you to radiation and are generally painless. A sore throat or bloating may be experienced. Internal bleeding may occur although this is very rare. If you are allergic to latex you should let the doctor or technician carrying out the s can know so a latex free probe cover can be used.
After care : In most cases, you can go home immediately after the scan is completed. If a sedative was not given you can eat, drink, drive and perform regular activities immediately after the scan. If a sedative was used, you will need to stay in the hospital for a few hours and arrange for someone to take you home. You should not drink alcohol, drive or operate machinery for at least 24 hours. The doctor will discuss with you the results of the scan at your next appointment.
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