Ultrasound is safe, non-invasive, and radiation-free. It uses sound waves to generate an image. Ultrasound has many applications including evaluation of the gall bladder for gallstones. A specialized form of ultrasound called Doppler ultrasound can detect blood flow, and is helpful in detecting stenoses of the carotid arteries (blockage in the blood vessels of the neck) as well as thromboses (blood clots) in the legs.
Obstetrical ultrasound is the evaluation of the fetus during pregnancy. It is used to confirm pregnancy; determine whether there is more than one baby; assess the age, position, weight and well-being of a fetus; identify the location of the placenta; assess the amount of amniotic fluid; and perform a survey of fetal anatomy. Pelvic ultrasound is used to evaluate for possible causes of pain, bleeding, and abnormal physical exam findings.
Preparation for Ultrasound:
- Pelvic – Finish drinking one quart (32 ounces) non-carbonated liquid (water, juice, DE-caffeinated coffee or tea, etc.) 45 minutes prior to exam. Do not urinate.
- Obstetrical – Same as above.
- Endovaginal Exams – same as Pelvic. Endovaginal exam will be done after the Pelvic study is completed and you have urinated.
- Abdominal – Clear liquid only if patient has to take medication; otherwise nothing to eat or drink after midnight or 8 hours prior.
- Gall Bladder – Same prep as Abdominal.
- Aorta – Same prep as Abdominal.
- Kidneys, Vascular, Thyroid, Scrotum – No preparation needed.