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Ultrasound - Treatment, Procedure And Side Effects

Last Updated: Jan 06, 2023

What is the Ultrasound treatment?

Ultrasound refers to a widely used imaging technique that involves the use of sonar and radio technology to create live images of the insides of our body. Ultrasound is regarded as a medical test that is conducted using an ultrasound device.

Ultrasound or Sonography is most commonly utilized to obtain fetal imaging and to show pregnant women images of their unborn babies. Medical professionals use an ultrasound device to serve many requirements such as biopsy procedures, monitor pregnancy, and examine the bladder, ovaries, spleen, kidneys, uterus, testicles, eyes, etc. However, using sonography for diagnosis and treatment involves some limitations too.

Summary- Ultrasound is applied to examine the underlying condition of several issues. It can obtain images of certain organs required for the diagnosis.

Types of Ultrasound

Ultrasound is differentiated into various categories. These are used to meet the different demands of several patients. These are-

  • Treanseosophageal endocardium- applied to obtain a clearer image of the heart.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound- a transducer wand is utilized to obtain a better image of the uterus and ovaries
  • Transrectal ultrasound- applied to diagnose prostate conditions.
  • Bone sonography- used for osteoporosis
  • Doppler ultrasound- Used to create an image of blood flow in vessels.

Summary- Different types of ultrasound options are available out there. These are advised according to the severity of the patients.

Why an ultrasound is performed

An ultrasound is performed to rule out the underlying symptom of a disorder. Pain, swelling, and other symptoms can be detected by an interval view of organs. Ultrasound can be applied to obtain images of these organs-

  • Kidneys
  • Bladder
  • Ovaries
  • Spleen
  • Blood vessels
  • Thyroid
  • Eyes
  • Uterus
  • Brain in infants, etc.

Summary- Ultrasound is used to obtain images to score out the symptoms of the disorder. It is often included in various diagnostic tests.

What happens if you pee before an Ultrasound?

Peeing is prohibited in the case of Ultrasound of the pelvic region, which involves the image scanning of the organs such as uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, and bladder. Drinking a lot of water that fills the bladder completely, is generally preferred at least 1 hour before the technique. This ensures a clear image view of the organs like the uterus and ovaries.

Summary- It is advised not to pee before the ultrasound diagnosis. This is because it helps to obtain a better image of the pelvic region.

How is the Ultrasound done?

Ultrasound tests are usually painless since they do not involve making incisions or getting injections. The ultrasound imaging is also safe as there is no radiation involved. Thus, it is ideal to examine the fetus during pregnancy. For a sonography, the doctor might recommend a12 hour fast and sufficient consumption of water before the test.

In an external ultrasound, the transducer is moved over the body part that requires examining. The ultrasound technician will first apply a gel over the area being examined. This gel lubricates the skin and the transducer is placed over the uterus to examine the fetus. This test can also be used to examine the gallbladder to detect a gallbladder disease or to examine a lump in the breast to diagnose cancer.

In an internal ultrasound, a transducer wand is used to probe the vagina for women and the rectum for men. This ultrasound imaging test helps in the diagnosis of abnormalities of the genitals. It is also used to diagnose certain types of cancer like that of the reproductive organs. Doctors use an internal ultrasound to examine the ovaries, uterus, certain glands or the prostate.

The third type of ultrasound imaging is conducted using a transducer probe. This endoscope is inserted through the mouth to probe the esophagus and examine it along with the stomach or the heart. The doctor will provide a sedative medication so that the patient does not feel any discomfort or pain during the procedure.

The procedure lasts from 30 to 45 minutes. After the examination is complete, the technician or doctor will wipe away the gel to end the procedure.

Summary- Ultrasound is performed with the help of a transducer after applying the gel to the area to be examined. This process takes almost 45 minutes to complete.

Can you see stool on an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is usually preferred to diagnose the severity of constipation in children due to its advantage of no radiation exposure. It is a mode to assess the improvement in patients who are having treatment for the chronic condition of constipation. In this scan, the feces present in the rectum are imaged as a crescent-shaped shadow, related to the sound too. This is a tool to measure the fecal loading and stool height in a consistent way, which are needed parameters in treatment methods of constipation.

Summary- Yes, ultrasound is often utilized to observe fecal loading. It is usually advised for children suffering from constipation.

Who is eligible for the Ultrasound? (When is the treatment done?)

In the following cases, the doctor will recommend an ultrasound test:

  • To examine lumps in the breast.
  • A sonography is recommended for pregnant women to monitor the unborn baby; in order to determine the sex of the baby and to detect any birth defects.
  • An ultrasound will be recommended to diagnose whether or not you have gallbladder disease.
  • To detect ovarian cysts
  • For men, an ultrasound test helps to detect any abnormality in the genitals, prostate or rectum.
  • The doctor can recommend a Doppler ultrasound to detect problems with blood flow and to examine the blood vessels.
Summary- People who are suffering from certain disorders or women during pregnancy are eligible for an ultrasound. It helps to detect the abnormality in the body.

Who is not eligible for the Ultrasound?

An ultrasound examination is usually a relatively painless procedure that can be safely used even for a fetus in the womb. There are very few times that an ultrasound may not be recommended.

For instance, if a patient is overweight, the imaging may be unclear. This occurs because it is difficult for the high-frequency sound waves to pass through the excess of tissue. In these cases, the doctor might recommend an MRI or an X-ray instead.

The sound waves weaken as they pass through bones of high density. Thus, to examine the insides of the bone structure, an ultrasound might not suffice. The doctor will use another type of imaging equipment.

Summary- People who do have any type of disorder or are overweight patients are often considered ineligible for an ultrasound.

Are there any side effects of Ultrasound?

With an ultrasound, there is no exposure to ionizing radiation. Therefore, patients are rarely at risks with an ultrasound test. In external ultrasounds, the patients do not experience any side effect. However, the possible side effects of an internal ultrasound are a pain, discomfort and minor risk of internal bleeding. On the whole, ultrasound tests are safe.

Summary- Although ultrasound tests are mostly safe, they may cause some side effects like discomfort or pain.

What is a disadvantage of Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is an imaging technique that has its own advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantages associated with this, are the inability to take an image of the cystic duct as well as less clarity of the images of stones in the bile duct. In cases such as acute cholecystitis, it is unable to give accurate findings.
Summary- Ultrasound possesses some disadvantages too. It may not take a clear image of certain organs affected by some specific disorders.

What are the post-treatment guidelines of Ultrasound?

The procedure of an ultrasound takes approximately half an hour after which you will be able to leave and resume activities. The results of the test will then be interpreted and revealed to you, either by a general physician or a trained ultrasound technician. If this test helps to diagnose the condition, the doctor will then suggest commencing the treatment process.

If the condition requires further evaluation, the trained medical professional will then recommend that you undergo other tests such as an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. Then based on the findings from these tests along with the ultrasound, your condition will be diagnosed. Follow-up examinations might be recommended to monitor any alteration in the condition.

Summary- Ultrasound is a relatively safe diagnostic test so doctors do not advise many post-treatment guidelines. But they will remind you to be regular on follow-ups.

What is the price of the Ultrasound treatment in India?

The price of an ultrasound exam in India ranges from Rs 1000 to Rs 3000.

Summary- The cost of ultrasound is not high-priced. Although it may vary for different organs.

What should I eat before my Ultrasound?

An Ultrasound needs preparation regarding food, to be done prior to it. If it has to be done in the morning, any solid or liquid food item should not be consumed after midnight, allowing medicines to be taken with a small amount of water, while if it is done after midday, light breakfast can be preferred such as oats or bread-jam. Intake of Food is not preferred for 4 to 6 hours before the Ultrasound. Chewing gum must be avoided before it as it badly affects the image quality.

What should you not eat before an Ultrasound?

It is advised to do preparation regarding food, prior to the ultrasound, such as-

  • if it has to be done in the morning, any solid or liquid food item should not be consumed after midnight,
  • if it is done after midday, light breakfast can be preferred such as oats or bread-jam.
  • Intake of Food is not preferred for 4 to 6 hours before the Ultrasound.
  • Chewing gum must be avoided before it as it badly affects the image quality.

Summary- We must not eat any food that affects the image quality. We should discuss this with the doctors before scheduling the procedure.

What should you not eat before an Ultrasound?

There are protocols regarding foods that need to be followed by the patients, like-

  • We must not take heavy breakfasts before the procedure.
  • We must not eat a heavy fat included meal.
  • In case of abdominal Ultrasound, be it for gallbladder or any other reason, a small diet preferably fat-free, should be taken prior to the procedure.
  • Recommended foods in such conditions include steamed vegetables as well as fresh vegetables and fruits.

Summary- We should be careful with the meals before the ultrasound procedure. We should avoid the thing that causes bloating or constipation.

Can I drink water before an Ultrasound?

Drinking water is necessary in the case of Ultrasound of the pelvic region that involves the imaging of the organs such as the uterus, ovaries, cervix, and bladder. It is advisable to drink as much water before the test so as to get prepared for a better image scan. Drinking more water fills the bladder completely so as to give a clearer image view of the organs, which is needed for a better diagnosis.

Summary- Water must be taken in an adequate amount before the procedure. It helps to obtain a better picture required for the diagnosis.

What are the alternatives to the Ultrasound?

In some cases, an ultrasound might not provide a clear enough image and it has certain limitations. The doctor might recommend an X-ray, MRI, PET, or CT scan as an alternative.

Summary: Ultrasound is an imaging technique that is usually preferred to diagnose the severity of any disease or condition due to its advantage of no radiation exposure. Some of the protocols that need to be followed prior to the procedure include intake of a small diet preferably of fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking a lot of water. The main disadvantage of this technique is that it totally depends on the patient and operator and in some cases, it is unable to give accurate findings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is checked during an ultrasound?

Ultrasound can be used to detect tumors, cysts, infections, or obstructions around different organs.

What problems can be seen on ultrasound?

Ultrasound helps to diagnose blood clots, ectopic pregnancies, kidney or bladder stones, aortic aneurysms, etc.

Can you see a tumor on an ultrasound?

Yes, we can observe a tumor in the ultrasound.

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Content Details
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Written ByDr. Sunita Singh MBBS,MS Obstetrics & GynaecologyGynaecology
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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