Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, obtains images from the human body with the use of high-frequency sound waves. The sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time visual image. No radiation is involved in ultrasound imaging.

Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body’s internal organs, including but not limited to the heart, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and bladder. Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can show movement of internal tissues and organs and enable physicians to see blood flow and heart valve function. A variety of heart conditions can be diagnosed through ultrasound imaging, and damage after a heart attack or other illness can be assessed.

Ultrasound imaging can only detect the outer surface of bony structures. For visualization of bones, other imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), provide a clearer, more detailed imaging study.

Ultrasound Resources

Patients scheduled for ultrasound imaging can find additional resources about the exam here, including other photos and videos of the procedure.

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