It’s a diagnostic technique involving high-frequency sound waves in the body, which generate images of anatomical structures. Ultrasound is also referred to as sonography, diagnostic sonography, and echocardiography when it is used to image the heart.
Ultrasound has a variety of uses in medical diagnostics. It is well suited for imaging soft tissues that are solid and uniform or filled with fluid. Some of the common uses include imaging fetus development during pregnancy, diagnosing gallbladder disease and some forms of cancer, and evaluating abnormalities in the scrotum and prostate, heart, and thyroid gland.
A technique referred to as Doppler imaging ultrasonography is used to view the movement of blood through blood vessels. It also helps guide needles through anatomical structures for obtaining specimens for biopsy. Three-dimensional ultrasounds provide detailed images of fetuses in the uterus.
Ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure. Patients may feel some discomfort when the transducer presses against the skin or when the transducer is inserted in the body. Most ultrasonic procedures typically take less than half of an hour.