What are ultrasound scans (also called diagnostic medical sonography, sonogram, sonography)?:
Ultrasound scans, also called sonograms, use high-frequency sound ways to create images of the body’s internal structures, like the stomach, uterus, liver, muscles, joints and more.
How ultrasound scans work:
- Ultrasounds performed externally: A sonographer (someone trained in the use of ultrasound equipment) holds a small device called a transducer against your skin, pressing and moving it as needed. The device emits sound waves that enter your body. As sound waves bounce back from your body to the device, they’re collected and sent to a computer, which then uses the data to compile an image.
- Ultrasounds performed internally: Occasionally, an ultrasound scan will be performed inside a patient’s body. A transducer will be attached to probe and inserted into an orifice in order to do a:
– Transesophageal echocardiogram, a scan in which the transducer is inserted into a patient’s esophagus (usually while she is sedated) to obtain images of the heart.
– Transrectal ultrasound is used to obtain images of a man’s prostate by inserting a transducer into his rectum.
– Transvaginal ultrasound involves inserting a transducer into a woman’s vagina to take images of her ovaries and uterus.
Possible complications of ultrasound scans:
There are no known risks with ultrasound scans.