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Ultrasound imaging (also called sonography) is a common diagnostic medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce dynamic images (sonograms) of organs, tissues or blood flow inside the body. The procedure involves using a transducer, which sends a stream of high-frequency sound waves into the body and detects their echoes as they bounce off internal structures. The sound waves are then converted to electric impulses, which are processed to form an image displayed on a computer monitor. It is from these images that videos and portraits are made. Doppler ultrasound is a special type of ultrasound that shows blood flowing through a blood vessel. It can be used to view major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck. (Read about "Vascular System")
Ultrasound can be used to help diagnose many conditions, including but not limited to:
Ultrasound can also be used in other situations:
For many ultrasound exams, you lie on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. A clear gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make firm contact with the body and the transducer is then moved back and forth over the area of interest. For some ultrasound exams, the transducer is attached to a probe and inserted into a natural opening in the body, such as the rectum, the vagina or the mouth leading to the esophagus.
An ultrasound exam generally takes 30 minutes to an hour.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a procedure in which an endoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted into the body. (Read about "Endoscopy") The endoscope has a probe at the end of the endoscope, which is used to bounce high-energy sound waves or ultrasound off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). It is also called endosonography.
Endoscopic ultrasound can be used in the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer (Read about "Lung Cancer"), as well as cancers of the digestive system, including pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer or esophageal cancer. (Read about "Pancreatic Cancer" "Liver Cancer" "Stomach Cancer" "Esophagus Cancer") Endoscopic ultrasound can also be used in the diagnosis of digestive diseases and conditions including, but not limited to chronic pancreatitis and digestive problems such as fecal incontinence. (Read about "Pancreatitis" "Digestive System" "Fecal Incontinence")
All Concept Communications material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.
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