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Ultrasound is a medical exam that uses high frequency sound waves to produce a digital image. It enables your physician to examine parts of the body and diagnose a wide range of conditions without the use of radiation.

Reasons for Ultrasound

Ultrasound exams are a painless procedure used to:

  • View the flow of blood through vessels and/or the heart
  • View and evaluate blockages to blood flow, such as clots
  • Assess build-up of plaque inside a vessel
  • Monitor blood flow through repaired blood vessels such as bypass grafts
  • Examine a baby during pregnancy

Ultrasounds are usually performed in a darkened room by a diagnostic medical sonographer. Depending upon the area of the body to be examined, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown and lie on a cushioned table. A water-soluble warm gel is applied to the area to be examined, and an ultrasound wand is rubbed gently over the area. A radiologist interprets the images taken by the sonographer, and a report is sent to your physician.

Learn More About Ultrasound

Detailed information about ultrasound is available in our online Health Library or from RadiologyInfo.org.

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