What is an Ultrasound Examination?
Ultrasound imaging employs a special machine that generates very high frequency sound waves that are projected into the body. The machine uses a sophisticated computer to convert the echoes from these sound waves into cross-sectional pictures, using principles similar to sonar. The ultrasound machine constructs both live video and still pictures of the body area being scanned. No ionizing radiation is used, and the power levels of the ultrasound machine are too low to be felt. Ultrasound is believed to be safe for imaging the human fetus (hence the use of ultrasound for prenatal diagnosis).
Preparing for Ultrasound Examinations
Most ultrasound exams require no specific preparation. Some examinations of the abdomen require fasting for several hours prior to the study. Ultrasound examinations of the female pelvis may require drinking water before the study to fill the bladder. You will be notified of any specific requirements.