We love to check out those growing babies, but did you know that ultrasounds aren't just for pregnancy?
An ultrasound is a great way to see the structure of soft tissues and organs in the body. Your provider might order an ultrasound to see if you have a kidney stone or to check if you have an inflamed gallbladder.
What Is an Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is an imaging technology that uses sound waves. An ultrasound wand sends out safe, high-frequency sound waves (too high for the ear to hear). The sound waves bounce back at different speeds, based on the type and location of tissues they hit.
The ultrasound wand captures those slightly changed sound waves as they return. Then a computer analyzes those sound waves to create a moving image.
We use ultrasounds to assess blood flow, view internal organs and examine parts of the body. Common places ultrasounds look at are the abdomen, breasts, thyroid and prostate. Because the sound waves don't break through very far, ultrasounds don't offer the best view of bones or structures hidden behind a lot of soft tissue. This is why doctors only recommend ultrasound for certain reasons.
Sometimes doctors try ultrasound first and then suggest another test if it doesn't help diagnose the problem.
Why Choose Luminis Health Imaging for Your Ultrasound?
Three words: convenience, speed and trustworthiness.
Luminis Health Imaging offers daytime, evening and weekend ultrasound appointments. You can pick the time that suits you best. You can book your appointment online anytime through our easy-to-use system. (Prefer booking over the phone? Give us a call.)
Our diagnostic imaging center offers same-day appointments so you can get the results you're seeking right away. We send your doctor your results quickly, usually within a day. And if you've been to Luminis Health before and have a free MyChart profile, we'll upload the results into your account. That way, you can pull up your ultrasound findings any time you need them.
Finally, you can count on us to provide you expert care. We're accredited by the American College of Radiology for ultrasound. This means the country's top radiology organization in the country approves our equipment, technical know-how and practices.
Here's What To Expect at Your Ultrasound
You may need to follow special instructions before your ultrasound, depending on what your provider wants to see.
For example, we may ask you to come to your ultrasound with a full bladder. This can make it easier to see the bladder and other nearby structures (sound waves travel well through water). Or we may ask you not to eat the day of your exam, because digestion processes can make it hard to see some organs, like the gallbladder.
For some ultrasounds, there are no special instructions. You simply show up. Don't worry about the prep – we'll call you after you book to explain any instructions in detail.
During the test you'll lie down on the exam table. The ultrasound technologist puts some cool gel on the skin. (This is because sound waves travel better through liquid than air.)
The technologist gently moves the wand over your skin. The technologist may press the wand down slightly at times to send the sound waves to their target. The test is painless. But if you feel discomfort or want to change positions at any time, just let the technologist know.
Depending on the reason for the ultrasound, the actual exam can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. (In longer ultrasounds, the technologist captures more images of a larger area).
After the exam, you can head out right away. A radiologist analyzes your ultrasound scans, usually the same day as the test, and sends the results to your doctor. Then, your doctor contacts you to discuss your results. If you're a Luminis Health patient, you and your providers can view your ultrasound results anytime through your MyChart. Talk about seamless coordination!