Ultrasound: Sound waves have many uses in technology and medicine. One of these, ultrasonography, is a medical imaging method and enables the tissues and organs in the interior of the body to be seen in general lines with the help of sound waves. With this application, sound waves with a much higher frequency than the human ear can perceive are given to the body and an image of the examined area is obtained by calculating their return time. Ultrasound has an important role in the diagnosis of many diseases and in the treatment of some diseases with interventional methods.
What is an ultrasound?
In the general definition, ultrasound is the process of imaging the body with the help of high-frequency sound waves. Unlike many other imaging methods, X-rays, which are called radiation, are not used in ultrasonography. This means it is a harmless process. It can be used safely in pregnancy follow-up, baby and child diseases. The quality of the images obtained as a result of the ultrasonography process varies according to the region where the procedure is performed.
Both the ultrasonography procedure and the examination and reporting of the obtained data are carried out by radiologists who have received advanced training in ultrasonography and other imaging methods. The ultrasound process is applied by direct contact of a special device to the area to be imaged. This instrument, also called the ultrasound device, consists of 2 parts. One of them is the probe to be brought into contact with the skin, and the other is the central processing unit that converts sound waves into images and reflects them to the screen. The area where the probe will be contacted to be imaged is covered with a special gel in order to fully transmit sound waves. The images obtained during the process are real-time and controlled by the radiologist by projecting them on the monitor.
Ultrasonic sound waves; undergoes tendencies such as scattering, scattering, reflection depending on the size, density, homogeneity, temperature, and many other factors of the examined organ or lesion. For this reason, the images obtained are evaluated in consideration of these. Generally, organs and formations with large and flat surfaces are the most clearly visible and evaluated cases in ultrasound. The validity of the medical interpretation made by examining the images obtained is directly proportional to the expertise, experience, and success of the radiologist.
How is an ultrasound done?
Many people, especially pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, undergo regular ultrasounds for health screenings. In order to see the area investigated in ultrasonography most clearly and to increase the accuracy of the findings to be obtained, physicians should give the necessary information to the patients about the things to be considered before the ultrasound. Certain ultrasound procedures such as abdominal ultrasound may require fasting for a certain period of time. In addition, the bladders of the patients must be full while entering the pelvic ultrasounds to investigate the diseases related to the female reproductive organs. Paying attention to such matters before the procedure is of great importance in terms of achieving the purpose of the transaction.
Before starting the ultrasound, the entire area to be viewed by the radiologist is covered with transparent ultrasound gel. This gel is a substance that does not cause any negative effects in terms of health and only provides lubrication of the area and facilitating the transmission of sound waves. Because it is water-based, it can be easily cleaned with the help of water after the process. After the pre-procedure preparations are completed and the necessary information is given to the patient, the probe part of the ultrasound device is moved over the area to be displayed and the images are monitored on the monitor. During imaging, the radiologist may press the probe to the skin to get a better and clearer image in some areas. This is normal and does not cause any harm. After the imaging process is completed, some printouts are taken from the images obtained and a report regarding the transaction is prepared. This report is sent to the medical unit requesting the ultrasound.
In what areas is ultrasound used?
Ultrasonography is one of the most widely used imaging techniques in the field of medicine, which is developed to diagnose diseases related to these regions by imaging the parts of the body that cannot be seen with the eye and cannot be accessed by endoscopy method, and to observe changes and developments. The organs located in the abdominal cavity offer diagnosis and treatment in many areas, especially breast screening and pregnancy follow-up. The main areas where ultrasound is used can be stated as:
- Screening for the health status of the baby in pregnant women
- Detection of possible malfunctions in the working order of the heart
- Investigation of various infections
- Detection of gallstones and diseases
- Investigation of tumors in breast and soft tissues
- Investigations for muscle diseases
- Investigation of prostate and genital area diseases
- Providing imaging in needle interventions in cyst and biopsy treatments
- Investigation of thyroid gland diseases
What are the types of ultrasound?
- PELVIC ULTRASONOGRAPHY
It is an ultrasound technique applied in screening for diseases of organs such as the uterus and ovaries in women and in routine follow-up in advanced stages of pregnancy. Before pelvic ultrasound, especially if the procedure is performed for the female reproductive organs, the patient should be urinated. It is a short-term procedure that is completed within a few minutes and is performed on the lower abdomen.
- ABDOMINAL (TRANSABDOMINAL) ULTRASONOGRAPHY
Abdominal ultrasonography, which includes different techniques and application methods, is generally used in the investigation of diseases related to organs located in the abdominal cavity. Ultrasounds during pregnancy are also included in this group. It is also preferred for imaging the liver, gall bladder, kidneys, prostate, stomach, and intestines. The procedure can be performed by choosing the appropriate technique such as 3 or 4-dimensional ultrasound, doppler ultrasound, and color ultrasound.
- TRANSVAGINAL ULTRASONOGRAPHY
Transvaginal ultrasonography is an ultrasonography technique that allows obtaining much clearer images compared to pelvic ultrasound in imaging of female reproductive organs. The ultrasound probe is placed inside the vagina in the imaging performed with this method. Sound waves are transmitted in the vagina, and the results obtained by imaging the reproductive organs such as the uterus and ovaries in this way are much smaller. Because the probe is placed in the vagina, this technique is applied to sexually active women, and the bladder does not need to be full before the procedure.
- 3 AND 4 DIMENSIONAL ULTRASOUND APPLICATIONS
In general, it is an optional ultrasound method in order to see the baby clearly, to observe its movements, to examine the limbs, and to detect some structural diseases. The images obtained are much clearer compared to 2-dimensional ultrasound, and it is very easy to determine the gender of the baby with this method.
- COLOR DOPPLER ULTRASONOGRAPHY
It is possible to investigate vascular diseases, to examine the distribution of blood vessels in tissues and organs, and therefore to investigate cancer tendencies in tumors with color Doppler ultrasound, which offers a different imaging opportunity than other ultrasound techniques. It is also called a detailed ultrasound and detailed ultrasound. At the same time, the direction of blood flow, possible vascular occlusions, and problems causing obstruction can be detected with this ultrasound technique. Doppler ultrasound technique may also be used in the detection of conditions such as growth retardation related to the baby in pregnant women.
Apart from these, colorless or colored ultrasound techniques such as echocardiography and mammography shaped specifically for the examined area are also available. The physician who made the ultrasound request decides which of the specified ultrasonography types should be applied, considering the patient’s condition, age, gender, the region of the disease, and the level of progress. If you also want to undergo a health screening with a general ultrasound application or to have your routine checks for any disease, you can apply to a health institution to undergo an examination and make an appointment for ultrasonography.
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