Diagnostic Ultrasound

What Is A Diagnostic Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is widely used as a primary diagnostic imaging tool, as it does not use radiation, it is painless, and can be used safely on all patients. It uses high frequency sound waves that reflect, or “echo” back in a different way off each part of your body, such as bone, fluid and soft tissue. These different kind of echoes form a picture that we can see on a screen, and allow your doctor to detect diseased or damaged tissues, locate abnormal growths and identify a wide variety of conditions.

How Can I Prepare My Child For The Procedure?

Preparation is specific for each procedure. Some ultrasound exams require no preparation, white others require patients to cease eating and drinking for up to 12 hours before the exam. Some ultrasound exams require a full bladder. You will receive instructions from your physician at your exam prior to the procedure.

What Can My Child And I Expect To Experience?

Your child will be asked to relax and remain still while the procedure is performed. The ultrasound examination is performed by a sonographer – a technologist trained in ultrasound imaging. The sonographer will apply a hypo-allergenic, water-soluble gel to the area being examined, which usually is warmed for the child. This gel prevents air from getting between the child’s skin and the transducer, a small probe which resembles a bar of soap. The transducer is then gently passed over the skin of the area being examined, producing a sensation of light pressure.
The transducer generates and receives the high frequency sound waves. The computer in the ultrasound unit processes and converts the resulting patterns into detailed images.

Are There Side Effects Or Complications?

There are no side effects or complications associated with ultrasound exams.

Is There Follow-up Care?

Most procedures do not require follow-up care.

More Information

For more information on Diagnostic Ultrasound, please select one of the Information Pamphlets provided from the American College of Radiology (ACR) and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) below:


Ultrasound - Abdomen (Pediatric)   Ultrasound - Scrotum
Ultrasound - Musculoskeletal   Ultrasound - Vascular
Ultrasound - Pelvis   Ultrasound - Venous (Extremities)
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