Many people are familiar with ultrasound as the scan used to view the gender and features of an unborn baby inside a pregnant woman’s uterus. While it is true that ultrasounds are frequently used for fetal imaging, they also have many more far-reaching applications within the medical field. From diagnostic testing to assessing damage after a heart attack, ultrasound is an important tool in our practice.
Ultrasound uses songraphic technology to produce internal images from soundwaves that bounce off the body’s organs. This process is completely painless, radiation-free, and requires minimal preparation. During the scan, patients are typically lying face up on an exam table, although some ultrasound procedures may require alternative positions. An ultrasound probe glides across the surface of the body that has been covered with a medical grade lubricant. Sounds are emitted from the probe and into the body, where they echo back and are sorted by a computer into an image. This process happens so quickly, the ultrasound can capture the movements of the structures inside the body in real time.
At the conclusion of the test, the lubricant is wiped from the skin. The radiologist then reviews the results of the ultrasound and provides a detailed report to Dr. Hammad.
Since many organs can be examined using ultrasound, these scans may be indicated for a number of different reasons. For example, ultrasound may help physicians analyze the cause of pain or swelling in a particular area of the body. It can also reveal signs of infection or even the presence of gallstones. It is not, however, effective in the diagnosis of issues pertaining to areas of the body where the ultrasound waves may be obstructed by air or bone.
Some of the organs most commonly examined using ultrasound technology include:
Dr. Hammad may request an ultrasound to investigate symptoms or to evaluate the damage done to an organ by a particular illness or condition. He may also use it to identify the presence of blood clots, tumors, and other obstructions. Depending on the results of the scan, Dr. Hammad may recommend additional testing, treatment, or an interventional procedure, such as an angioplasty.