What is a Diagnostic Ultrasound?
A diagnostic ultrasound is an imaging technique that makes use of high-frequency sound waves in order to form images of various internal body structures. This technique, also known as sonography, can provide valuable information for the evaluation and diagnosis of various conditions.
Indications for Diagnostic Ultrasound
Ultrasound is used for many reasons including:
- Monitoring the uterus and ovaries during the development of a baby
- Diagnosing gallbladder disease
- Evaluating blood flow
- Providing guidance during various treatments methods
- Examining a breast lump
- Checking your thyroid gland
- Detecting genital and prostate problems
- Assessing joint inflammation (synovitis)
- Evaluating metabolic bone disease
Procedure for Ultrasound Imaging
- You will either be seated or will lie down on an examination table depending on the region being evaluated.
- An ultrasound gel will be applied over the region to avoid air pockets and enable better conduction of the sound waves.
- The sonographer will press a small hand-held transducer, which generates and receives the reflected sound waves, against the region to be examined.
- The computer generates images of the region of the body based on the information sent back by the transducer.
- The ultrasound procedure is usually painless, but you may, in some cases, experience slight discomfort while the transducer is moved over certain body parts.
- A normal ultrasound exam can range from half an hour to one hour.
Interventional ultrasound includes the various minimally invasive procedures that use ultrasound in guiding certain treatment procedures. This involves the use of real-time ultrasound imaging along with different attachable needle steering equipment.
Ultrasound imaging provides a safe and cost-effective alternative to various highly invasive surgical practices which are currently in use. Different techniques that use the aid of ultrasound are developing at a rapid rate and various ultrasound-guided safe treatment methods are currently being investigated.
Indications for Interventional Ultrasound
Various ultrasound-guided drainage and catheterization techniques are now used in place of highly invasive surgical procedures due to its high efficiency and safety. These include techniques such as pleuracentesis, abscess drainage, cholecystostomy, nephrostomy, and central venous catheterization. Ultrasound-aided diagnostic methods include various biopsies conducted using both fine and coarse needles guided by the help of ultrasound imaging.
Different types of Interventional ultrasound procedures include:
- Fine needle biopsies
- Core samples
- Renal biopsies
- Breast biopsies and hook wires
- Amniocentesis and CVS in pregnancy
- Ultrasound-based hysterosalpingograms (HSGs)