Ultrasounds are diagnostic medical tools used to produce images of the body’s internal organs. Also known as sonograms, they use high-frequency sound waves delivered through a transducer to help your doctors see the inside of your body. The sound waves bounce off your tissues and organs and transmit the information to a computer where they are converted into images. In the wake of technological inventions like 3D imagery, the use of ultrasound Buckhead procedures is growing increasingly varied. Ultrasounds are no longer just used to monitor pregnancy. In fact, here is a review of five different types of ultrasounds your doctor can prescribe and what they say about your body.
An OB ultrasound is the most common type of ultrasound. Obstetricians use it to monitor the condition of a pregnant woman and the fetus growing inside them. Contrary to popular belief, OB ultrasounds are not an everyday occurrence in pregnancy. They are only performed when medically necessary. For instance, your OBGYN may recommend an OB ultrasound to establish a pregnancy, estimate the term of pregnancy, check the position of the fetus, or diagnose congenital deformities.
Pelvic and Transvaginal Ultrasound Imaging
Like OB ultrasounds, pelvic ultrasounds are commonly used to monitor the health of a fetus during pregnancy. They are also useful in examining the ovaries, prostate gland, uterus, and bladder to diagnose conditions like kidney stones, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and problematic periods. Transvaginal ultrasounds are similar in that they help diagnose the cause of pelvic pain. However, in this case, the transducer is usually inserted into the vagina rather than placed over the pelvic region.
Abdominal and Transabdominal Ultrasounds
Abdominal ultrasounds allow your doctor to examine your internal organs, including your bladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, gallbladder, and liver. Consequently, they aid in the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions. They can also be used to guide needle biopsies, among other procedures. Similarly, transabdominal ultrasounds give your doctor insight into the cause of abdominal pain.
As the name suggests, transrectal ultrasounds gather images through the rectal opening. They are used to monitor the prostate gland for signs of disease like prostate cancer. The doctor usually inserts the transducer through the rectum, moving it around to get different-angle pictures of the prostate. This process can also be useful in performing a biopsy if a lesion is detected during the initial exam. Through imaging, your doctor can excise a sample of the growth for testing in a lab.
Carotid and Abdominal Aorta Ultrasounds
Ultrasounds can also be done on the carotid arterial system to check for blood flow blockages in the neck arteries. These blood vessels transport blood to the brain and a blockage can cause a mini-stroke or stroke. Similarly, your doctor may perform an abdominal aorta ultrasound to check for blood clots and other abnormal enlargements in the blood vessel. Both these tests help ensure proper blood flow.
Schedule Your Diagnostic Ultrasound Today
Whether you need a diagnosis for heavy periods, are pregnant, or are worried about your vascular health, your doctor will likely use an ultrasound to help you. Ultrasounds are crucial to diagnosing many health conditions, performing medical procedures like biopsies, and developing effective treatment plans. If you have one lined up, use the preparation time to discuss any worries you may have with your doctor. Find out what you need to bring, wear, or eat for the procedure to ensure smooth sailing on D-day.