What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound imaging uses high frequency sound waves (emitted from a transducer) to get an image of the inside of the body. The reflected sound waves create an echo pattern which is displayed as a real-time visual image.

Most ultrasound images are obtained by gently pressing and rolling the handheld transducer over areas of the body with a warm gel (used to improve sound wave strength).

Ultrasound is used for many reasons, including to:

  • Monitor a developing fetus during pregnancy
  • Diagnose gallbladder disease
  • Guide a needle for a biopsy or to drain fluid
  • Examine a breast lump
  • Check the thyroid gland
  • Evaluate male and female reproductive organs
  • Assess joint inflammation (synovitis)