Ultrasound, or sonography, uses sound waves to image all different parts of the body. Using a small probe called a transducer and gel applied directly on the skin, high-frequency sound waves travel from the probe through the gel into the body. The probe collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer uses those sound waves to produce an image. Images are captured in real-time, showing the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, and even blood flowing through blood vessels.
Ultrasound is safe and painless, and uses no radiation. It is widely utilized for all body parts, including fetal, and all age patients, and provides images of soft tissues that don't show up on x-ray images. At Fairbanks Imaging & Breast Center, we offer both 2D or 3D imaging.
Our team is comprised of certified and credentialed ultrasound technologists, each registered through a rigid exam process by a national registry. FIBC is accredited by the American College of Radiology in Breast, Breast Biopsy and is a certified Breast Center of Excellence.
Ultrasounds usually vary in length 45-90 minutes depending on the exam requested by your provider. Some exams may require fasting or drinking additional amounts of water to fill your bladder before your appointment.
Ultrasound is utilized to diagnose multiple different pathologies to include but not limited to the following:
- Blood clots
- Kidney stones
- Thyroid nodules
- Ovarian cysts
- Breast masses
- Liver disease
- Carotid blockages
- Fetal surveillance
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Ultrasound imaging of the abdomen creates images of the structures within the upper abdomen. It is often used to evaluate the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas, spleen and abdominal aorta.
Obstetrical Ultrasound to include 3D images
Obstetric ultrasounds uses sound waves to create pictures of an embryo or fetus within a pregnant woman, as well as her uterus and ovaries. As ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation, there is no known harmful effects and it is the preferred method for monitoring pregnant women.
Ultrasound imaging of the abdomen creates images of the organs within the lower abdomen and pelvis. Abdominal, vaginal (for women) and rectal (for men) pelvic ultrasounds are frequently used to evaluate the reproductive and urinary systems.
Ultrasound imaging of the scrotum is the primary method to help evaluate disorders of the testicles, epididymis and scrotum. An ultrasound is safe and noninvasive.
Ultrasound imaging of the thyroid gland in the neck is commonly used to evaluate lumps or nodules found during a routine physical or other imaging exam.
Vascular ultrasound uses sound waves to evaluate the body's circulatory system. This is used to identify blocakges in the arteries and veins, like blood clots. A Doppler ultrasound study – a technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel – is usually part of this exam.
Ultrasound imaging of the breasts produces pictures of the internal structures of the breast. It is primarily used to help diagnose breast lumps or other abnormalities.
As ultrasounds provide images of soft tissues that don't show up on x-ray images, it is often used to help diagnose the causes of pain, swelling and infection in the body's internal organs, and assess and diagnose organ damage. It is often also used to help guide biopsies.