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Ultra-Sound Test in Thailand
Ultrasound, also known as sonography, or ultrasonography, is a diagnostic procedure that transmits high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, through body tissues. The echoes are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images of the internal structures of the body.
Ultrasound images help in the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases and conditions. The idea for ultrasonography came from sonar technology, which makes use of sound waves to detect underwater objects.
Ultrasound is used to create images of soft tissue structures, such as the gall bladder, liver, heart, kidney, female reproductive organs -- and even of fetuses still in the womb. Ultrasound can also detect blockages in the blood vessels.
Ultrasound may be used with other diagnostic procedures or by itself.
What Purposes are an UltraSound Used For?
Ultrasound examinations can be used in various areas of the body for a variety of purposes. These purposes include examination of the chest, abdomen, blood vessels (such as to detect blood clots in leg veins) and the evaluation of pregnancy. In the chest, ultrasound can be used to obtain detailed images of the size and function of the heart. Ultrasound can detect abnormalities of the heart valves, such as mitral valve prolapse, aortic stenosis, and infection (endocarditis). Ultrasound is commonly used to guide fluid withdrawal (aspiration) from the chest, lungs, or around the heart. Ultrasound is also commonly used to examine internal structures of the abdomen. Gallstones in the gallbladder are easily detected, as are kidney stones. The size and structure of the kidneys, the ureters, liver, spleen, pancreas, and aorta within the abdomen can be examined. Ultrasound can detect fluid, cysts, tumors or abscess in the abdomen or liver. Impaired blood flow from clots or arteriosclerosis in the legs can be detected by ultrasound. Aneurysms of the aorta can also be seen. Ultrasound is also commonly used to evaluate the structure of the thyroid gland in the neck.
During pregnancy, an ultrasound can be used to evaluate the size, gender, movement, and position of the growing baby. The baby's heart is usually visible early, and as the baby ages, body motion becomes more apparent. The baby can often be visualized by the mother during the ultrasound, and the gender of the baby is sometimes detectable.
Are there any side effects of ultrasound?
Studies have shown that ultrasound is not hazardous. There are no harmful side effects. In addition, ultrasound does not use radiation, as x-ray tests do.
Before the ultrasound
The preparation for this test will depend on the type of ultrasound procedure your doctor has ordered. Some preparations include drinking a quart of water before the test to obtain better images. Other preparations may include eating a fat-free dinner the night before the test, or possibly fasting.
The physician, nurse or receptionist will give you complete instructions prior to the exam.
On the day of the test
- Please do not bring valuables such as jewelry and credit cards.
- Your ultrasound test is performed by a certified, specially trained technologist and results are interpreted by a board-certified radiologist.
- You may be asked to change into a hospital gown.
During the ultrasound test
- You will be asked to lie on a comfortable table, either on your side or on your back.
- A small amount of water-soluble gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined. The gel does not harm your skin or stain your clothes.
- A hand-held instrument, called a transducer, is placed against the gel on your body. The transducer will be moved back and forth across the area being examined.
- The technologist will instruct you when, if necessary, to hold your breath to prevent motion on the images.
- The technologist does not interpret the images, but rather, takes the images for the radiologist to review for diagnosis.
- A radiologist may also review the images on the screen during the examination with the technologist.
- After the procedure is complete, the technologist will wipe off any remaining gel used during the procedure.
- The ultrasound test usually takes from 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
After the ultrasound test
The images will be reviewed by a radiologist. A written report of the radiologist's findings will be forwarded to your physician for review and study. Your physician will discuss the test results with you.
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