What’s the “weather” like in your body? An ultrasound uses the same sound wave technology that meteorologists use to track cloud movement in order to diagnose conditions in your body.
During an ultrasound, a trained sonographer uses a handheld device known as a transducer to send out sound waves that “echo” against your muscles, blood vessels, and organs and are converted into real-time images. An ultrasound does not use any radiation.
Better training and expertise means better results. All of our sonographers at Augusta University Health are ultrasound certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, a globally recognized standard of excellence in sonography. Our team is also accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) for Women's Imaging.
And our broad training goes even further than that. We are the only radiology service in the region to have dedicated vascular sonographers, neurosonographers, and transcranial sonographers. This specialized expertise means that physicians in our stroke center and neurology service, our Level-I trauma center, our surgery service, and others have the best diagnostic information available, which translates into better care for you. ^
Need a specialized ultrasound? There’s no need to travel elsewhere. At Augusta University Health, we offer a broad array of ultrasound techniques for different conditions, including:
- Abdominal ultrasound detects any abnormalities of the abdominal organs (i.e., kidneys, liver, pancreas, gallbladder) such as gallstones or tumors.
- Breast ultrasound examines a mass in the breast tissue (performed in mammography).
- Doppler ultrasound examines structures inside the body, while evaluating blood flow at the same time. Doppler ultrasound can determine if there are any problems within the veins and arteries.
- Interventional ultrasound helps guide interventional radiologists during a minimally invasive operation or biopsy.
- Musculoskeletal ultrasound examines any joint or muscle pain for conditions such as a tear and may also guide physicians during lesion biopsies or joint fluid biopsies.
- Obstetrical ultrasound monitors the development of the fetus (in conjunction with obstetrics).
- Pelvic ultrasound finds the cause of pelvic pain, such as an ectopic pregnancy in women, or to detect tumors or masses.
- Penile ultrasound evaluates patients with erectile dysfunction or other pathologies (in conjunction with surgical oncology).
- Renal/kidney ultrasound examines the kidneys and urinary tract.
- Scrotal ultrasound further investigates pain in the testicles.
- Thyroid ultrasound examines the thyroid to detect any abnormalities.
- Vascular ultrasound examines the vascular system and its function, including detection of blood clots.
We also offer a wide array of ultrasound-guided procedures, including examining blood flow in areas of stenosis, intraoperative ultrasound, radiation therapy planning and management, and drain placement.^
Before your exam:
In many cases, no preparation is needed prior to your ultrasound. However, some may require a full bladder (pelvic ultrasound), and others may require you not to eat or drink for a certain time period before your exam (abdominal ultrasound). Your physician will give you specific instructions depending on the type of ultrasound you need.
During your exam:
- A gel-like substance will be smeared on the area of your body where you will have the ultrasound. The gel acts as a conductor for the sound waves.
- The sonographer will then move a transducer, a handheld device that sends out ultrasound waves, over the area of your body.
- The sound from the transducer will reflect off structures inside the body, and the information from the sounds will be analyzed by a computer.
- The computer will create an image of these structures on a television screen. ^