Chances are you have received an ultrasound at some point in your life. Generally, they involve a trained medical professional using imaging equipment on your skin, producing an image that helps doctors evaluate a variety of medical conditions. Richmond University Medical Center takes a closer look below at four effective uses of ultrasound testing.
1. View Uterus & Ovaries during Pregnancy
A fetal ultrasound (sonogram) is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to produce images of a fetus in the uterus. Fetal ultrasound images can help your health care provider evaluate your baby’s growth and development and monitor your pregnancy. In some cases, fetal ultrasound is used to evaluate possible problems or help confirm a diagnosis. Your healthcare provider might use a fetal ultrasound to:
- Confirm the pregnancy and its location: Some fetuses develop outside of the uterus, in the fallopian tube. A fetal ultrasound can help your health care provider detect a pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy).
- Determine your baby’s gestational age: Knowing the baby’s age can help your health care provider determine your due date and track various milestones throughout your pregnancy.
- Confirm the number of babies: If your health care provider suspects a multiple pregnancy, an ultrasound might be done to confirm the number of babies.
- Evaluate your baby’s growth: Your health care provider can use ultrasound to determine whether your baby is growing at a normal rate. Ultrasound can be used to monitor your baby’s movement, breathing, and heart rate.
- Identify birth defects: An ultrasound can help your health care provider screen for some birth defects.
- Investigate complications: If you are bleeding or having other complications, an ultrasound might help your health care provider determine the cause.
2.Examine a Breast Lump
Ultrasound imaging of the breast uses sound waves to produce pictures of the internal structures of the breast. It is used to help diagnose breast lumps or other abnormalities found during a physical exam or on a mammogram or breast MRI. A healthcare provider may recommend a breast ultrasound for many different reasons including:
- Checking if a breast lump is a fluid-filled breast cyst (usually not cancerous) or a solid mass (which may require further testing)
- Investigating a focal area in the breast that appeared abnormal on a mammogram
- Guiding a needle into a mass to sample tissue for a biopsy
3. Detect Prostate Concerns
Ultrasound of the prostate uses sound waves to produce pictures of a man’s prostate gland and help diagnose symptoms, such as difficulty urinating or an elevated blood test result. It is also used to investigate a nodule found during a rectal exam, detect abnormalities, and determine whether the gland is enlarged. An ultrasound of the prostate gland is performed to:
- Detect disorders within the prostate
- Determine whether the prostate is enlarged
- Help diagnose the cause of a man’s infertility and his trouble urinating
4. Evaluate Blood Flow
A Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive test that can be used to estimate the blood flow through your blood vessels by bouncing high-frequency sound waves off circulating red blood cells. A Doppler ultrasound may help diagnose many conditions, including:
- Blood clots
- Poorly functioning valves in your leg veins, which can cause blood or other fluids to pool in your legs (venous insufficiency)
- Heart valve defects and congenital heart disease
- A blocked artery (arterial occlusion)
- Bulging arteries (aneurysms)
- Narrowing of an artery, such as in your neck (carotid artery stenosis)
Learn about Our Ultrasound Services in Staten Island, New York
Ultrasound testing is an effect way to detect a variety of concerning medical conditions. To learn more about the medical care provided throughout Staten Island at Richmond University Medical Center, please contact us today.