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Ultrasound: What It Is, Purpose, Procedure & Results Q&A

Ultrasound: What It Is, Purpose, Procedure & Results Q&A

An ultrasound is a safe imaging procedure that makes images of your body’s organs and tissues using sound waves. It’s frequently used to guide treatments, detect medical issues, and monitor a developing fetus throughout pregnancy. For more information, please contact us or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 710 S Brookhurst St., Suite A, Anaheim, CA 92804 (less than 3 miles from Disneyland).

Ultrasound: What It Is, Purpose, Procedure & Results | SoCal Urgent Care Near Me in Anaheim, CA
Ultrasound: What It Is, Purpose, Procedure & Results | SoCal Urgent Care Near Me in Anaheim, CA

Table of Contents:

What are the different kinds of ultrasounds?
What is the difference between a 3D ultrasound and a 4D ultrasound?
How do I prepare for an ultrasound?
Is an ultrasound painful?

What are the different kinds of ultrasounds?


Ultrasounds, also called ultrasonography, create images of the blood, organs, and tissues through the use of high-frequency sound waves. These ultrasound images can be used in many different situations for diagnosis, such as visual confirmation of a pregnancy. There are many different types of ultrasound, and each one is unique to the concerns that they are used to diagnose. There are some popular ultrasound reasons and some lesser common ultrasounds.

Thyroid ultrasounds are used to get a visual of the thyroid to determine any abnormalities, such as an enlarged thyroid, or lumps near the thyroid that can’t be determined if they are a part of the thyroid or adjacent to the thyroid.

Venous ultrasounds are used to look at the structure of the veins and arteries and are commonly used in situations of lower leg swelling (edema) to determine if there is an obstruction impairing blood flow. Venous ultrasounds are also used to guide the placement of a catheter and for grafting blood vessels in dialysis patients.

Abdominal ultrasounds are used to look at the organs located in the abdomen to determine if there are potential issues with the GI tracts, such as the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder, and are also used to diagnose if someone has a hernia.

Pelvic ultrasounds are done in the pelvic region of women and can be done externally or transvaginally. The purpose of these ultrasounds is to review the uterus and surrounding structures for any abnormalities. These ultrasounds are commonly done in women who have extreme pelvic pain or have masses that can be felt from outside the uterus. Pelvic ultrasounds can also be done transrectally for men.

Prostate ultrasounds are done transrectally, and are the male equivalent of pelvic ultrasounds, as they are used to determine if there are any abnormalities with the prostate, and can also be used to determine if there is prostate cancer present.

Obstetric ultrasounds are used during pregnancy to review the baby’s development, and also early on to confirm the pregnancy is healthy. These ultrasounds are done externally, and images of the baby are created for the parents to keep.

Ultrasounds can also be done for musculoskeletal concerns, such as torn muscles or tendons, and will be used to determine if an MRI will be necessary to determine the severity of an injury. Ultrasounds can also be done for the breasts in men and women to determine if potential lumps found in the breasts are related to cancer or benign growths.

What is the difference between a 3D ultrasound and a 4D ultrasound?


3D ultrasounds are very commonly used in obstetric situations, as they create an image that captures the features of the child in much more detail than the commonly used 2D ultrasounds. The images will give detail to the static 2D images, with a bit more detail and the ability to capture the current appearance of a baby. 4D ultrasounds also capture all the same details as a 3D ultrasound, but the largest difference is that these images are more like videos, showing the movements happening during the ultrasound.

How do I prepare for an ultrasound?


If you are having an ultrasound done it is important to avoid food and drinks for the 8 hours leading up to your appointment and to make sure you bring the request from your doctor with you as well. If you are taking medications, you can still do so with water but any further consumption of water is not recommended.

For women who are having pelvic ultrasounds done, you will be required to start drinking water in the hours leading up to your appointment, with the total amount of water being 32 ounces. This is important, as during the ultrasound they will be able to look at the expanded structure of the bladder to determine any abnormalities, and you will be allowed to relieve yourself after this has been done before they continue with the rest of the ultrasound process.

Is an ultrasound painful?


Ultrasounds are not painful but they can be uncomfortable if you are having a transvaginal or transrectal ultrasound done. Your ultrasound technician will do what they can to make the whole experience as comfortable for you as possible, and they may also have a conversation with you, not regarding the procedure, to lessen your stress during this time. For more information, please contact us or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 710 S Brookhurst St. Suite A, Anaheim, CA 92804 (less than 3 miles away from Disneyland). We serve patients from Anaheim CA, Buena Park CA, La Palma CA, Cerritos CA, Cypress CA, Stanton CA, Garden Grove CA, Fullerton CA, Placentia CA, and Olive CA.