Benefits of Ultrasound Technology
Ultrasound technology is one of the safest imaging techniques. In this technique, high-frequency sound waves are used to generate a detailed internal image. Ultrasound rays do not pose any safety risks to the patient unlike other imaging procedures such as X-ray and MRI.
Here are some applications of ultrasound technology:
Pregnancy- Ultrasound is the preferred imaging procedure to use in pregnancy because it poses no risk to the unborn foetus. Ultrasound technology is used in all stages of pregnancy. In early pregnancy, ultrasound is used to confirm pregnancy and ensure that there are no issues such as an ectopic pregnancy which can pose a severe risk to the patient. In later stages, ultrasound is used to check on the health of the fetus and ensure that all organs and blood vessels are developing normally. In early pregnancy, special ultrasounds are also used to diagnose any chromosomal disorders such as down syndrome.
Kidney and Gallbladder Stones- Ultrasound technology is used to diagnose kidney and gall bladder stones. These can be seen as dark masses on the ultrasound image and allow the doctor to determine how large the stones are and how urgent the case is.
Cancer and biopsy- Ultrasound is also a highly useful technique for diagnosing cancer. For instance, in breast imaging, ultrasound is used to locate any suspicious masses inside the breast. Then the area is anesthetised and live ultrasound is used to directly pinpoint the area of the mass so a biopsy can be taken. This biopsy is sent off to a lab so that it can be analysed for cancerous tissue.
The ultrasound procedure is fairly straightforward. The patient usually needs a referral letter from their GP or specialist. When the patient is booking their appointment, they are given any instructions based on the type of ultrasound they will be having. In early pregnancy, women are required to drink enough water to ensure that their bladder is full to ensure that the sonographer (ultrasound technician) can easily see the fetus. Furthermore, ultrasounds of the lower abdomen may require the patient to fast or avoid fatty meals at least 12 hours before their scan. This is also to ensure a clear image is obtained. Once the scan is carried out, the report is usually sent to the patient's GP or specialist. If not, then the patient is required to collect their report themselves and take it back to their GP for result interpretation.
For more information about ultrasounds, contact a medical professional.