Although PINK Breast Center generally uses ultrasounds to supplement mammograms and to aid in breast biopsies, our technicians are also high trained in general body ultrasounds. You can schedule your ultrasound appointment in the same comfortable, relaxed setting as you get your annual mammograms.
Many of our patients ask what the difference is between mammography and ultrasounds. Read on to learn more about ultrasounds.
A General Body Ultrasound Exam is a safe and painless procedure which produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. General Ultrasound displays the images in thin, flat sections of the body. Improvements in Ultrasound technology include three-dimensional (3-D) and (4-D) images.
There are different kinds of general Body Ultrasound. A special ultrasound technique called Doppler Ultrasound, allows the physician to see and evaluate blood flow through arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs, neck and/or brain, or within various body organs such as the liver or kidneys.
- Soft Tissue Neck
- Abdominal-Liver, Gallbladder, Pancreas, Spleen
- Transvaginal-Pelvic Organs
- Obstetrical-Biophysical Profiles
- Doppler Exams – Carotid Arteries Doppler, Lower Extremity Arterial Doppler, Lower Venus Doppler, Abdominal Pelvic. Doppler, Aorta and Inferior Vena Cava
Why is Ultrasound Used?
Ultrasound is used to help with diagnosis and also as guidance for procedures. At PINK Breast Center, we use Ultrasound (US) to guide our procedures such as Biopsies, in which a needle is used to sample cells from an abnormal area for laboratory testing.
How Should I Prepare for an Ultrasound Exam?
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing at the day of your exam. You may need to remove all clothing and jewelry around the area to be examined. You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.
Preparation for the procedure will depend on the type of examination you will have. For some scans, your doctor may instruct you not to eat or drink for as many as 12 hours before your appointment. For others, you may be asked to drink up to six glasses of water two hours prior to your exam and avoid urinating so that your bladder is full when the scan begins.
Ultrasound examinations are painless and easily tolerated by most patients. Most ultrasound examinations are completed within 20-30 minutes, although more extensive exams may take up to an hour. When the examination is complete, you may be asked to dress and wait while the ultrasound images are reviewed by a physician radiologist available. You should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.
Follow-up examinations may be necessary, and your doctor will explain the exact reason why another exam is requested. Sometimes, a follow-up exam is done because a suspicious or questionable finding needs clarification with additional views or a special imaging technique.
What Are the Benefits?
Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging methods. Ultrasound imaging is extremely safe and does not use any Ionizing Radiation. Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on X-Ray images. Ultrasound provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures such as Biopsies or Cyst aspiration.