Ultrasound is a medical imaging technique based on the use of ultrasounds, inaudible sound waves that can "see" inside the body.
These high frequency ultrasonic waves are produced and received by the device (probe) which is moved over the skin by sliding by means of a gel. Painless and non-invasive, it is widely used for the diagnosis of many pathologies but also for visual guidance during other examinations, such as biopsies.
The ultrasound only analyzes the area explored and not the whole body. A completely harmless technique, it is particularly interesting in children and pregnant women and can be repeated if necessary without danger.
Ultrasound is used for many indications, because it can be performed on any part of the body: cardiac, renal, pelvic ultrasound, blood vessels, the brain (transfontanellar ultrasound of the newborn), the prostate , thyroid, etc.
It is also an essential tool during pregnancy monitoring, because it allows to follow the development of the fetus and to detect many fetal anomalies.
The examination ultrasound involves exposing the tissues or organs that one wishes to observe to ultrasound waves. These "bounce" off the different structures according to their density, return to the probe which interprets them and which renders an image in real time on a screen.
The ultrasound machine therefore consists of a probe that emits and receives the ultrasound (called a transducer) and a video monitor. The frequency at which the ultrasound signal is emitted depends on the depth of the organs and regions to be studied.
The examination is painless: the doctor first applies a gel between the skin and the probe to ensure the good conductivity of the ultrasound (by removing the air) and walks the probe gently at the level of the area he wishes to explore.
Ultrasound is usually done externally, but internal ultrasounds can also be done to better visualize certain organs (endorectal, endovaginal, intraesophageal ultrasound, etc.).
Easy to perform and painless, ultrasound is one of the most frequently used examinations in medicine. It is used to look for abnormalities such as malformations, tumors or cysts, and it is also used to visually guide the doctor when performing biopsies or other examinations.
If an abnormality is detected, further testing is often necessary, depending on the organ affected and the potential diagnosis.
Source: Health Passport