10 Reasons You Might Need An Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a machine that uses high frequency sound waves to capture images in the body. This is so doctors can make a diagnosis. It is similar to radar which helps the military detect planes and ships. It lets the doctor see your organs, tissue, and blood vessels before making an incision. The results help in getting a correct diagnosis. Fortunately, this useful procedure uses no radiation. So, you be questioning, "Why do I need an ultrasound?" Here's 10 reasons you might end up undergoing an ultrasound. 

Pregnancy

An ultrasound is often used to track the progression of a pregnancy. It is used to make sure that all is going well and to catch problems before they occur. It shows what the baby looks like, the size, and how the organs are functioning. When complications arise often an ultrasound can detect the problem. They determine the due date, birth defects, multiple pregnancies, and position of the baby.

Gynecology

It is used to detect tumors and tissue growth in the vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Often this test can detect abnormalities of the tissue so the doctor can diagnose and treat serious condition that affect women. It is used for fibroid tumors, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and uterine growths.

Heart Problems

An ultrasound is used to diagnose problems with the heart. It can determine if a heart valve is leaking or not working correctly. It measures the heartbeat for irregularities. The test can even detect blood clots in the heart and infections!

Blood Vessels

This test is used to detect blood clots in veins. It is used on stroke patients to see if main arteries are blocked. The test can often tell why veins are swollen due to a blood clots or deep vein thrombosis.

Abdominal Structure

The ultrasound or 3D ultrasound can be used to access most solid organ in the body. This means the gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, bladder, prostrate, uterus, and ovaries. It can test for gallstones or an infected gallbladder.

Neck

It is used to detect problems with the thyroid in the neck. The test is used to detect nodules, growth, and tumors.

Knee Joints

It can be used to detect fluid in knee joints from injuries and cysts that grow there.

Guide Needles into the Body

Sometimes an ultrasound is used to guide needles into the body. When an intravenous line is needed but is difficult to find a vein this test is used. Often this is used when the needle must go into the neck, groin, or chest where injections are more difficult to see or administer.

Prostrate and Urology

Often an ultrasound is used to look at prostate glands in men and to examine the rectum. It is often used to measure the blood flow of the kidneys, detect kidney stones, and early prostate cancer.

Biopsies

It can be used by a surgeon to take a biopsy of a tumor that may be cancerous. It helps them find the locations so that they can take the biopsy with accuracy.

You may need an ultrasound when your doctor wants to make a diagnosis and confirm results before proceeding with treatment. It is an effective test in determining many different disease, tumors and complications in the body. A 3D ultrasound will show pictures of your organs or baby in 3 dimensional formats. These images will be moving. An ultrasound is a painless test that takes ½ hour to 45 minutes. 

By Joan Russell

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