Healthcare Services and Programs

What is an ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a safe, painless diagnostic procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs and body structures.

Who should have an ultrasound?
Patients whose physicians want to examine and/or diagnose any number of body systems or structures including the pelvis, thyroid, breasts, abdomen, prostate and vascular system.

How often should you have an ultrasound?
As directed by your physician.

How do you prepare for an ultrasound?
In general, there is very little preparation required for an ultrasound test. However, in some cases the test works best on an empty bladder or on a full bladder. Before your exam, you will be given specific preparation instructions for your type of test.

What happens during the procedure?
You will change into a hospital gown and then lie on an examination table. A clear gel will be applied to your body near the area that is being studied. The sonographer will then pass a transducer wand back and forth over the area being examined. Depending on your exam, you may have to change positions or hold your breath during the procedure. The exam generally involves very little or no discomfort.

What happens after the procedure?
The gel will be wiped off and you can get dressed. Physically, you should experience no discomfort or side effects. A radiologist will discuss the findings with your physician.

What are the benefits of an ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a safe, painless way to examine and/or diagnose many parts of the body, including the breasts, abdomen, pelvis, prostate, thyroid and the vascular system.

What are the risks of an ultrasound?
Ultrasound is generally considered to be safe with no known side effects. There is no radiation exposure.