An ultrasound is a device that uses sonar and radio technology to create live images of the insides of our body. A sonography is a medical test that is conducted using an ultrasound device.
Sonography is most commonly associated with fetal imaging, to show pregnant women images of their unborn babies. However, this medical test is used in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases and conditions as well. Usually, this test is done externally, but in some cases, an ultrasound device is placed inside the body.
Medical professionals use an ultrasound device during biopsy procedures. The live images from sonography help them to navigate with precision. With pregnancy, the images from the ultrasound can help the doctor to monitor the fetus growing within the mother’s womb. Certain birth defects, the sex of the baby, weight of the baby and any potential issue can be determined using ultrasound imaging.
Ultrasound imaging can also be used in the diagnosis of certain conditions. It is used to examine conditions related to organs such as the bladder, ovaries, spleen, kidneys, liver, thyroid, uterus, testicles, eyes and blood vessels. However, using sonography for diagnosis and treatment has its limitations.
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.
In the following cases, the doctor will recommend an ultrasound test:
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.
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.
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.
The ultrasound procedure is a medical imaging test with little to no risks or complications. Hence, there is no recovery process. You can resume normal activities as soon as the procedure is complete.
The price of an ultrasound exam in India ranges from Rs 1000 to Rs 3000.
An ultrasound exam is a medical test. This procedure is used in diagnostics but does not treat conditions. Therefore, there can be neither a permanent nor a temporary result.
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.
First-trimester screening is a prenatal test. It is conducted to get early information about a baby's risk of certain chromosomal conditions. It can detect conditions like Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and extra sequences of chromosome 18 (Trisomy 18).
It is usually conducted in two steps:
Initially, a blood test is conducted to ascertain the levels of two pregnancy specific substances in the mother's blood. The blood is tested for pregnancy associated plasma protein and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Thereafter, a USG is done to find out the size of the clear space in the tissue that is present at the back of the foetus’s neck.
The screening is done between weeks 11 and 14 of pregnancy. The doctor is able to gauge the risk of your baby having Down syndrome or Trisomy 18 by using your age and results of the test. This screening is quite helpful and can guard you against deadly consequences in the future. Down syndrome is known to cause impairments in the mental and social development of the child. Trisomy 18 gets often fatal by age 1. However, first screening doesn’t find out the risk of neural tube defects.
It is the first screening done in pregnancy. It can be done before any other screening. Thus, the results are known at an early stage. You will get time to think about the future consequences can help you in deciding your course of action and the decision to either continue or terminate the pregnancy. You will be ready to know and decide whether you will be able to live and take care of a baby with special needs. You can conduct other screenings later in pregnancy. You must know that first-trimester screening is treated as being optional. It can detect the risk and cannot tell you whether your baby has the problems in real or not.
Often women get worried about the test and it’s after effects. However, there is no need to worry. It will not harm your pregnancy. The foetus remains untouched and safe during the screening. It will not lead to any miscarriage or any other complication.
A practitioner will collect your blood by inserting a needle into your veins. The blood is then sent for testing to the lab. You can resume your usual daily activities. The ultrasound will need you to lie on your back on a table and the technician will put a transducer on your abdomen. The sound waves will be changed into digital images that the technician will refer to. You can get back to your normal routine as soon as the test is over.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
When your doctor suspects of the presence of extra fluid in your lungs, you might be advised for a thoracic ultrasound. What is a thoracic ultrasound and why do you need it? With a thoracic ultrasound, your doctor will be able to look at everything in the thoracic cavity and can know if your lungs, heart, and other structures in the chest are working fine. The pulmonologists can efficiently determine the lung condition even in critically ill patients using a non-invasive ultrasound technique.
And, since the method is based on sound, there is no risk of exposure to potentially harmful ionizing radiation or nephron-toxic contrast dye in this case. Hence, a thoracic ultrasound has become the most preferred technique for conducting a preliminary examination or to further check and confirm a finding noted using other imaging techniques for thoracic diseases.
Reasons to have a chest ultrasound
After a Thoracic Ultrasound
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Today, prenatal testing can help pinpoint your unborn child’s risk to a number of genetic conditions. NIPT or non-invasive prenatal testing is a modern form of prenatal testing that does not harm the mother or child. NIPT involves a simple blood test that can be performed as an outpatient procedure in any doctor’s office. Blood for this test is collected from a vein in the mother’s arm. The DNA from this blood sample is then studied in a laboratory to look for signs of abnormalities. These results are them compared to your first trimester ultrasound results to determine if further testing is required.
There are a number of advantages to this form of testing
However, you should remember that NIPT cannot be used to replace diagnostic tests such as amniocentesis. Also, it does not detect all chromosomal abnormalities. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an IVF Specialist.
Every woman has a unique system, especially when it comes to matters like menstrual cycles and pregnancy. There are some women who go through normal bleeding while for others, it may be less than ideal. Also, there are women who may experience a condition known as Menorrhagia which is characterised by excessively heavy bleeding during menstrual cycles. Cramping and bleeding for longer than a week are the most common symptoms of this condition. Here are ways to treat this condition.
Intrauterine growth restriction is a condition where the foetus is smaller than it should be according to its age because it is not growing at a normal rate inside the uterus. This puts the baby at risk for several dangerous conditions during pregnancy, delivery and post-birth. Some of these are low weight at birth, caesarian delivery, decreased oxygen levels, low blood sugar, low resistance power, breathing problems and low body temperature. IUGR can lead to stillbirth in extreme conditions and to long-term growth problems too. This is the main reason why prenatal birth monitoring is very important.
IUGR can occur in expecting mothers who have a problem with the placenta. We already know that placenta is the cord of life that joins the mother with the foetus. It provides oxygen and food to the developing baby inside the womb. Apart from this, IUGR can occur if the mother has:
The main symptom of IUGR is a small baby for its age in the womb. It may look small and sickly and the placenta is dry and shrivelled.
Dealing with IUGR depends on many factors. Usually, doctors go for a slew of tests to see how the infant is doing. A detailed sonogram is usually performed to look for foetal anomalies. Tests like a urine sample, ultrasound, platelet count and liver function test are also administered to the mother. The mother is put on bed rest to improve blood flow to the foetus and antenatal steroids are prescribed to promote foetal lung maturity. General management also includes treatment of maternal disease like high BP and cessation of substance abuse or alcohol.
For management of IUGR, daily blood pressure measurements, foetal movement profiles, serial ultrasound examinations are important to determine the severity and progression of IUGR. If the situation becomes critical, labour is induced and the baby is delivered by caesarian section.
IUGR can’t be cured and can only be managed so it’s best to prevent it in the first place by keeping all of your prenatal appointments. You must be aware of your baby's movements. If your baby is not moving much or stops suddenly, you should rush to your doctor. You must also not take any medicine without consulting your doctor during pregnancy. Eat healthy and rest fully to have a risk free birth and last, but not the least, stay away from drugs, alcohol and smoke, even second hand, for the health of your baby. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.