Ultrasound—also called Sonography or Ultrasonography—uses sound waves that are too high for you to hear to study organs, tissues and blood vessels. A sound head is gently moved across your skin. It sends sound waves into your body. When the waves bounce back, they make pictures on a screen. These are called sonograms.
Ultrasound can be used to look at:
- Ovarian cysts
- A baby in the womb
- The heart and how it works
- Flow in blood vessels
- Breast lumps
- Thyroid gland
It can also be used to look for:
- Gallstones or other gall bladder disease
- Scrotum or prostate problems
- Kidney stones or tumors
On the day of the test
Take your pills as you always do and eat normal meals unless you are told differently.
During the test
You will lie on a padded table. A sonographer will get you ready and then take pictures during the test. He or she will spread warm gel on your skin over the place to be studied. This helps the sound head of the ultrasound camera make full contact. You may feel mild discomfort or pressure. The test last will last at least 30 minutes.
Some tests may last 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on which body part is being studied. A renal artery exam may take much longer than others.
After the test
You can eat, drink and be active as usual.
A radiologist will look at pictures taken during your test. A report about your pictures will be sent to your doctor in 24 to 48 hours. It may take longer for you to get this information if you have had other tests. Your doctor needs to see results of all tests before they can be explained.