Medical imaging has genuinely revolutionized the medical field, and one of the most important tools of this imaging is ultrasound. Ultrasound is a non-invasive, safe, and quick way to examine organs and tissues inside the body, helping doctors to diagnose a wide range of medical conditions. But if you’ve never had an ultrasound exam before, you might unsure about what to expect. In this blog, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to help you understand everything about the ultrasound exam – who needs it and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.


Who Needs Ultrasound?

Ultrasound exams are typically recommended for pregnant women to evaluate the health of the developing fetus, during which an ultrasound transducer is placed on the abdomen. Apart from this, other ultrasound applications include examining the organs of the body like the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, uterus, and ovaries. Additionally, ultrasound is used to pinpoint the location of cysts, tumors, blood clots, or other masses in the body.

What to Expect?


Before scheduling the ultrasound exam, you'll need to follow some specific preparations. Usually, for an ultrasound, you need to wear loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to the area being studied. Additionally, you may be requested not to eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the exam if you're having an abdominal or pelvic ultrasound. As for other ultrasound exams, there may not be any other special preparations you'll need to follow.


The ultrasound exam is a painless procedure. You'll be asked to lie down on an exam table while a technician uses a small handheld device called a transducer to transmit sound waves into your body. The wand-like transducer sends these high-frequency sound waves in the body, which bounce off the internal organs and tissues, creating echoes. Then, the transducer detects these echoes, generating black-and-white images that appear on a computer screen. A gel is applied to the area bein studied that enhances the image quality and allows the transducer to glide over your skin smoothly.


After the ultrasound exam, the technician will wipe off any remaining gel from your skin. Usually, you'll be able to get back to your daily activities almost immediately after the procedure. Your doctor will examine the images and determine the meaning of them. Ultrasound exams are sometimes repeated after a period of time to track the progression of any changes observed through the initial exam. Your doctor will inform you about the results of your exam and suggest any necessary next steps.

Other uses of Ultrasound

Ultrasound transducers are also used in other medical procedures such as guiding a needle during a biopsy or aspirating fluid from cysts or abscesses. If you have any questions or require further details about your ultrasound exam, never hesitate to discuss them with either your doctor or the technician who will be performing the procedure. These professionals will be able to provide you with the necessary information and guide you through the whole process.