Sonography is a painless medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce visual images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body. Depending on the situation, sonography may be used to examine the abdomen, breasts, prostate, female reproductive organs, heart, blood vessels, and other areas. In obstetrics, sonography is used to determine the number, age, and location of a fetus, as well as to check for potential birth defects.
It is also used to identify abnormalities in the abdomen, such as liver disease or gallstones. Sonograms can also be used to detect heart disease. And therapeutically, sonography is often used to speed healing of injured muscles and joints through the application of deep heat. During a sonogram, the sonographer applies an odourless, colourless gel to the area to be examined. This gel helps conduct the sound waves from the ultrasound transducer to the area of focus. The sonographer moves the transducer around on the skin, which sends a stream of high-frequency sound waves into the body that bounces off the organs and tissues inside.
As the waves bounce off internal structures, they create images that appear on a monitor. The sonographer watches the monitor, and he or she looks for visual cues that indicate whether the area being studied is healthy or unhealthy. The sonographer saves and stores the most important images he or she sees, and a physician then examines those images to make a diagnosis.
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