Ultrasound produces images of soft tissue and organs in the body through the use of sound waves that reflect back and are displayed as a real-time image. Ultrasound can detect diseased or damaged tissues, locate abnormal growths and identify a wide variety of conditions, enabling your radiologist to make a quick and accurate diagnosis.
Learn More About Ultrasound
Ultrasound uses a transducer, a wand-shaped device, that when gently pressed against the skin directs high-frequency sound waves into the body. These sound waves echo back and the transducer electronically converts the reflected waves into very precise images of the body. This is the same principal used to track weather patterns and to guide air traffic. Ionizing radiation (X-ray) is not used in ultrasound making it a safe alternative for imaging pregnant women.
The preparations for an ultrasound vary depending on the body part you are having scanned.
If you are having an ultrasound of any Upper Abdominal Organ (Gall Bladder, Pancreas, Liver, Spleen) and/or Aorta eat an early low-fat dinner on the night before your exam and have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to your exam.
If you are having an ultrasound of your Pelvis you will need to have a full bladder for this exam. Please drink 6 eight oz. glasses of liquid. Finish drinking this liquid one hour prior to your exam. Do Not Empty your bladder before the exam.
There is no preparation if you are having an ultrasound of your Breast, Extremity or other body parts (i.e., Thyroid).
One of our board-certified Radiologists will interpret your exam and send a report to your physician within 5 business days. Contact your referring physician for any information pertaining to the findings.
Typically your referring physician will schedule an appointment for you. If you have been asked to schedule the appointment yourself, please have your physician’s order and any pre-authorization information required by your insurance or health plan provider in hand, and call 850-878-4127.
An Ultrasound examination is performed by a sonographer -a technician trained in ultrasound imaging. The sonographer will apply a hypoallergenic, water-soluble gel to prevent air from getting between your skin and the transducer, a small probe resembling a bar of soap. The sonographer then gently passes the transducer over the skin of the area being examined, producing a sensation of light pressure. The transducer generates and receives the high-frequency sound waves. The computer in the ultrasound unit processes and converts the resulting patterns into detailed images.
Ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation, has no known harmful effects, and provides a clear picture of soft tissues that don’t show up well on x-ray images. Ultrasound is often used to help diagnose unexplained pain, swelling and infection. It may also be used to provide imaging guidance to needle biopsies or to see and evaluate conditions related to blood flow. It’s also the preferred imaging method for monitoring a pregnant woman and her unborn child.