Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, uses high frequency sound waves to produce real-time images from inside the body. Ultrasound is a quick, non-invasive exam that does not use radiation.
Doppler ultrasounds allow physicians to see blood flow and movement of internal tissues and organs. Ultrasounds are frequently used to produce images of the:
- Blood vessels
Breast ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves, without radiation, to produce images of the tissue inside the breast. A breast ultrasound is most often used along with a mammogram to further examine findings from a mammogram, physical exam, or breast MRI. If an abnormality is palpable (can be felt), an ultrasound can determine if a lump or mass is a cyst filled with fluid or a solid tumor.
When used as a diagnostic tool, a Sonographer will apply a warm, clear gel to the breast and move the transducer across the skin to obtain clear images of the underlying tissue for the radiologist to interpret. The transducer and gel work together to absorb the reflected sound waves to produce images on the monitor.
Breast ultrasound is great for patients who:
- have an undetermined lump or mass
- have dense breast tissue
- have a symptom such as pain or nipple discharge
Prostate ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the prostate and measure its size. The images will show if the prostate is enlarged or if any tumors or calcifications are present. Prostate ultrasound is effective in monitoring prostate size as well as a tumor’s response to treatment.
Using ultrasound, a needle is guided into a mass to remove small sample of the tissue