Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel to expose the body to high frequency sound waves. Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound examinations do not use Ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, As well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
Conventional ultrasound displays the images in thin, flat sections of the body. Advancements in ultrasound technology include three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound That formats the sound wave data into 3-D images. Four-dimensional (4-D) ultrasound is 3-D ultrasound in motion.
There are three types of pelvic ultrasound:
- abdominal (transabdominal)
- vaginal (transvaginal/endovaginal) for women
- rectal (transrectal) for men
Why should I do it ?
- A physician may order a lower GI examination to detect:
- Benign tumors (such as polyps).
- Ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease).
- Hirschsprung disease in children (a blockage of the large intestine).
- Images of the small bowel and colon are also used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease, a group of disorders that includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Any preparations needed?
- You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials.
- Inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
- On the day before the procedure you will likely be asked not to eat, and to drink only clear liquids like juice, tea, black coffee, cola or broth, and to avoid dairy Products. After midnight, you should not eat or drink anything.
- You may also be instructed to take a laxative (in either pill or liquid form) the night before the examination and possibly a few hours before the procedure. You can take your usual prescribed oral medications with limited amounts of water.
- You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes
- You may also be asked to remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
- Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.