What is a Sonogram 2

What is a Sonogram and How is it Used?

Medmo Blog: “Everything you need to know about Sonograms”

When it comes to understanding medical procedures, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the jargon and technical terms. But don’t worry, Medmo is here to break down the basics of one such procedure, the sonogram.

First things first, what exactly is a sonogram? Also known as a diagnostic ultrasound or diagnostic medical sonography, a sonogram is an imaging method that uses sound waves to create images of the structures inside your body. These images can provide vital information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions.

There are two main types of sonograms: external and internal. External sonograms are the most common and involve using an ultrasound device outside of the body. Internal sonograms, on the other hand, involve placing a small device inside the body. Examples of internal sonograms include a transesophageal echocardiogram, which obtains heart images by placing a transducer into the esophagus, and a transrectal ultrasound, which creates images of the prostate by placing a transducer into the rectum.

Now that we know the basics of what a sonogram is and the different types, let’s dive into why they’re done. Sonograms are used for a variety of reasons, including:

– Monitoring the health of a developing baby during pregnancy

– Diagnosing gallbladder disease

– Evaluating blood flow

– Guiding a needle for biopsy or tumor treatment

– Examining a breast lump

– Checking the thyroid gland

– Finding genital and prostate problems

– Assessing joint inflammation (synovitis)

– Evaluating metabolic bone disease

One of the most reassuring things about sonograms is that they are considered a safe procedure. They use low-power sound waves, and there are no known risks associated with them. However, it’s important to note that sonograms do have limitations. Sound waves don’t travel well through air or bone, so sonograms aren’t effective at imaging body parts that have gas in them or are hidden by bone, such as the lungs or head. Additionally, sonograms may not be able to see objects that are located very deep in the body. In these cases, your healthcare provider may order other imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans, or X-rays.

When it comes to preparation for a sonogram, most exams require no preparation at all. However, there are a few exceptions. For some scans like a gallbladder ultrasound, your care provider may ask you not to eat or drink for a certain period of time before the exam. Others, such as a pelvic ultrasound, may require a full bladder. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and ask any questions you may have when scheduling the appointment. In the case of young children, there may be additional preparation required, so be sure to ask your doctor when scheduling the appointment.

During the sonogram procedure, a gel is applied to the skin over the area being examined. This gel helps prevent air pockets and allows for the sound waves to create the images. A trained technician, known as a sonographer, will press a small, hand-held device called a transducer against the area being studied and move it as needed to capture the images. The transducer sends sound waves into the body, collects the ones that bounce back, and sends them to a computer which creates the images.

In terms of what to expect during the procedure, you may be asked to remove any jewelry from the area being examined and change into a gown. You will then lie on an examination table and the sonographer will apply the gel and begin the procedure.

In conclusion, sonograms are a safe and valuable imaging method that can provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions. Whether you’re a soon-to-be parent wanting to monitor the health of your developing baby, or experiencing symptoms related to gallbladder disease or joint inflammation, a sonogram can provide crucial information for your healthcare provider. 

It’s important to remember that while sonograms are safe and effective, they do have limitations. Sound waves don’t travel well through air or bone, so they may not be able to image certain body parts. In these cases, your healthcare provider may order other imaging tests.

At Medmo, we believe in empowering our readers with knowledge about their health and medical options. We hope this article has provided a clear and comprehensive overview of what a sonogram is and how it’s used. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.

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