After taking a history, ultrasound patients are instructed to
lie down on their back. Using warm gel, a transducer is rubbed across
the patient's body to obtain images.
For an ultrasound of the abdomen,
we image the gallbladder, liver, pancreas, right kidney, and common
bile duct. The left kidney, spleen, or aorta can also be imaged
For a pelvic ultrasound, a full bladder is necessary
to see the uterus and ovaries. On most patients, an internal scan
is also performed. It is similar to a pelvic exam, but should not
be painful. This type of exam allows us to obtain more accurate
measurements and clearer images. (There should be no effect on patients
if currently menstruating.)
A full bladder is helpful for an OB
ultrasound exam especially during early pregnancy. Many measurements
are taken in order to determine the age and weight of the baby.
We are also able to image the spine, kidneys, heart, bladder, cord,
placenta, and usually sex. At Columbus Diagnostic Imaging, we do
have the ability to videotape a portion of the exam, and patients
will be given a few images to take home for the baby's record book.
Ultrasound can also be used to image the breast, scrotum, and thyroid.
Veins of the leg can also be imaged using ultrasound. This exam can
determine if a blood clot is present. We will take pictures extending
from the groin area down to the calf.
Using ultrasound, we can also
image the carotid arteries in the neck. From this, we can view the
amount of plaque that is present and determine the percentage of a
vessel that is blocked.