Ultrasound Machines for high quality imaging

Ultrasound

An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. It is suitable for use during pregnancy. Ultrasound scans, or sonography, are safe because they use sound waves or echoes to make an image, instead of radiation.Ultrasound scans are used to evaluate fetal development, and they can detect problems in the liver, heart, kidney, or abdomen.

The person who performs an ultrasound scan is called a sonographer, but the images are interpreted by radiologists, cardiologists, or other specialists. The sonographer usually holds a transducer, a hand-held device, like a wand, which is placed on the patient's skin.

How ultrasound scans work
A small device called an ultrasound probe is used, which gives off high-frequency sound waves. You can't hear these sound waves, but when they bounce off different parts of the body, they create "echoes" that are picked up by the probe and turned into a moving image. This image is displayed on a monitor while the scan is carried out. It will travel straight through the gallbladder if there are no gallstones, but if there are stones, it will bounce back from them. The denser the object the ultrasound hits, the more of the ultrasound bounces back. This bouncing back, or echo, gives the ultrasound image its features. Varying shades of gray reflect different densities.

Preparing for an ultrasound scan
Before having some types of ultrasound scan, you may be asked to follow certain instructions to help improve the quality of the images produced. For example, you may be advised to:

  • Drink water and not go to the toilet until after the scan – this may be needed before a scan of your unborn baby or your pelvic area
  • Avoid eating for several hours before the scan – this may be needed before a scan of your digestive system, including the liver and gallbladder

What happens during an ultrasound scan
Most ultrasound scans last between 15 and 45 minutes. They usually take place in a hospital radiology department and are performed either by a radiologist or a sonographer. They can also be carried out in community locations such as GP practices and may be performed by other healthcare professionals, such as midwives or physiotherapists who have been specially trained in ultrasound.
There are different kinds of ultrasound scans, depending on which part of the body is being scanned and why. The three main types are:
  • External ultrasound scan – the probe is moved over the skin
  • Internal ultrasound scan – the probe is inserted into the body
  • Endoscopic ultrasound scan – the probe is attached to a long, thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) and passed further into the body

Are there any risks or side effects of ultrasound scan?
There are no known risks from the sound waves used in an ultrasound scan. Unlike some other scans, such as computerised tomography (CT) scans, ultrasound scans don't involve exposure to radiation. External and internal ultrasound scans don't have any side effects and are generally painless, although you may experience some discomfort as the probe is pressed over your skin or inserted into your body.