Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, uses sound waves to visualize your internal organs or babies prior to birth. With ultrasound, sound waves are sent into the body through a microphone-like instrument called a transducer. Using a gel to improve contact, the hand-held transducer is scanned over the skin. The sound waves travel into the body, reflect back to the transducer and the sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as real-time visual images. The procedure is painless and no radiation is used.
How ultrasound is used
Ultrasound is commonly used during pregnancy, but is also a useful way of evaluating the body’s circulatory system by helping to monitor blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body, as well as evaluate the placement and success of repair. Ultrasound can also locate abnormalities in various organs, narrowed arteries or clotted veins, or growths such as tumors or cysts.