Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

An Overview Of Three Types Of Ultrasound Scans

An ultrasound scan is a non-invasive way to see what's going on inside your body. It creates real-time images using sound waves and does not emit radiation. The sound waves are directed at the area of your body being investigated using a transducer. Echoes are then reflected back, and this is what allows an image to be created. The image is displayed on a linked monitor and your doctor or nurse can tell you what they see right away. Read on to learn about three types of ultrasound scans.

Pregnancy Ultrasound

Ultrasound scans are used during pregnancy to check how the baby is developing in the womb. They can help ensure the baby is growing at the expected rate and also play an important role in screening for certain health conditions and abnormalities, such as spina bifida, Down's syndrome and congenital heart abnormalities. Being aware of these health problems before a baby is born can allow medical professionals to be ready to administer additional care at the time of the baby's birth.

Diagnostic Ultrasound

Your doctor may organise an ultrasound scan to investigate potential causes of your symptoms, or they may arrange one to determine the cause and severity of an abnormal growth. Ultrasound scans can be used as a standalone diagnostic tool or in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures. For example, abdominal ultrasounds can detect problems with the liver, kidneys and intestines. Thyroid ultrasounds can detect abnormal growths, and transvaginal or testicular ultrasounds can be used to diagnose reproductive cancers.

Vascular Ultrasound

Vascular ultrasounds are used to investigate the health and condition of your blood vessels. Your blood vessels play a crucial role in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients around your body, so damaged or blocked blood vessels can contribute to serious health problems. A vascular ultrasound may be used to detect blood clots, atherosclerosis, deep vein thrombosis and chronic venous insufficiency. If you present with leg pain, ulcers that aren't healing well or muscle degeneration, your doctor may refer you for a vascular ultrasound.

Ultrasound scans are considered safe and reliable, and they have the advantage of allowing your doctor to see what's going on inside your body in real time. There's generally no preparation required and no side effects associated with having an ultrasound. If your doctor is referring you for any type of ultrasound and you have questions about the procedure, discuss these ahead of your scan appointment to ensure you fully understand what's involved and why an ultrasound has been requested. 

For more info about ultrasounds, contact a local professional.