Different Types of Ultrasounds
As a way to see inside a person without a surgical procedure, ultrasounds allow physicians to take a closer look into a patient’s body to determine what is taking place in it. This type of technology utilizes sound waves to create a picture of a certain area of the body. The sound waves are picked up by a handheld device called a transducer and converted into a visual image that can be displayed on a screen for further examination. There are many different types of ultrasounds, such as pelvic ultrasounds, abdominal ultrasounds, and pregnancy ultrasounds.
Pelvic ultrasounds are used to obtain images of organs and structures that are located in the lower abdomen or pelvis. These types of ultrasounds are conducted on both men and women to identify disorders like kidney stones, bladder tumors, and problems with the urinary bladder. Pelvic ultrasounds are most often performed on women to examine the bladder, uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. These examinations can help to diagnose problems women may experience, such as abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, and other menstrual problems. By examining female reproductive organs, this type of ultrasound can find and identify ovarian growths, cysts, fibroid tumors, fallopian tube problems, and ovarian or uterine cancers. Pelvic ultrasounds are used in men to examine the bladder, prostate, and seminal vesicles.
Abdominal ultrasounds are used to obtain images of organs and structures that are located in the upper abdomen, such as the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, and abdominal aorta. These types of ultrasounds are used to find and diagnose medical conditions involving, abnormal liver function, enlarged abdominal organ, stones in the gallbladder or kidneys, abdominal pain or distention, or an aneurysm in the aorta. The use of a doppler in this type of ultrasound image can help a physician evaluate any narrowing of blood vessels, blockages of blood flow, or tumors and congenital malformations.
Pregnancy ultrasounds are used on women who are pregnant in order to measure the development and growth of a fetus. Throughout a women’s pregnancy, ultrasounds may be conducted in order to determine the baby’s age, keep track of the baby’s growth, find the position the baby is in, and to check for problems that may occur. Commonly, these types of ultrasounds are used to determine the sex of the baby. Although this may not always be possible, if the baby’s genitals are not visible due to the current position it is in.