Abdomen

Ultrasound is used frequently to study organs and structures in the abdominal area, including the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, aorta, spleen and blood vessels.

How do I prepare?

The evening prior to your exam, avoid consumption of fatty or greasy foods and dairy products. The day of the exam, you should only consume sips of clear, non-carbonated fluids until after the exam. You should also avoid chewing gum, gulping fluids, or other activities that may cause gas build-up.

Hysterosonography

A hysterosonography is a transvaginal ultrasound exam that captures images of inside the uterus. The technique is used to evaluate uterine abnormalities in women who have difficulty getting pregnant or experience multiple miscarriages. The test is also valuable for investigating unexplained vaginal bleeding, which could be caused by congenital defects, masses, adhesions (scarring), polyps, fibroids or atrophy.

What should I expect?

You will first change into a gown and lie on an exam table. A sterile speculum is inserted into the vagina. Your cervix will be cleaned and catheter will be inserted into the uterine cavity. Once the catheter is in place, the speculum is removed. A small transducer attached to a probe is inserted into the vagina.

Sterile saline is injected through the catheter into the uterus to enlarge the uterine cavity. The saline allows for easy visualization and measurement of any abnormalities. Saline and air may also be injected into the uterus so that the radiologist can look for air bubbles passing through the fallopian tubes to check for blockages.

Some patients experience cramping/pain during the procedure and up to two hours after the exam.

The exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. A report of your exam will be sent to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.

How do I prepare?

If you have already received a recent pelvic ultrasound at Inland Imaging, there is no specific preparation required for the hysterosonogram.

However, if you have not received a full pelvic ultrasound exam at Inland Imaging, you will receive one prior to the hysterosonogram. The pelvic ultrasound requires a full bladder prior to the study. One hour before the exam, drink 32oz of water and do not empty your bladder. You will be allowed to empty your bladder as soon as the technologist has completed the test.

Obstetrical Ultrasound

An obstetrical (OB) ultrasound exam is an exciting part of pregnancy and a chance to see your baby before it is born. The test may be performed at various times during your pregnancy to study the pregnancy process and to evaluate your health and your baby’s health and growth while he or she is still in your uterus.

What should I expect?

The sonographer applies a gel to your skin to ensure that the transducer (the probe that emits the high-frequency sound waves) has good contact for sound transmission. This transducer is placed on your skin and moved over your abdomen to capture images of your baby and various structures in your pelvic area. You should experience no pain.

Early in the 1st trimester (less than 14 weeks), a transvaginal approach is frequently needed to complete the examination. Your bladder will be emptied prior to this (see “How do I prepare?” for bladder prep instructions). A special transducer is inserted into the vaginal canal and angled in multiple directions to acquire various images of your baby and pelvic structures. This does not typically cause any pain.

A 1st trimester examination takes approximately 30-45 minutes. A 2nd or 3rd trimester examination takes approximately 60-75 minutes.

The sonographer cannot provide you with diagnostic results. A radiologist who specializes in obstetrical ultrasound, will review and interpret your images. A report of the exam will be sent to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.

As this is a medical exam, your baby’s and your health are our primary focus. However, we recognize that an obstetrical ultrasound can also be a very exciting moment in your pregnancy. Although visitors are not permitted for other ultrasound exams, up to two adult visitors are allowed in the room during an obstetrical ultrasound. Unaccompanied children are not permitted. The sonographer will attempt to ascertain the gender of your baby upon request. The use of recording devices is not permitted. You may be provided with one to two printed images as the examination allows.

How do I prepare?

There is no special preparation for 2nd or 3rd trimester obstetrical ultrasound examinations. A 1st trimester (less than 14 weeks) examination requires a full bladder. One hour before the exam, drink 32oz of water and do not empty your bladder. You will be allowed to empty your bladder as soon as the sonographer has completed the test.

Prostate

Ultrasound is a useful imaging tool in the study of the prostate. The exam may be performed to determine the volume of the prostate, to investigate elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, or to guide a needle biopsy of the prostate.

What should I expect?

Prior to your exam, you will receive an enema to clean the colon. You will put on a gown and lie on an exam table. A technique called a transrectal ultrasound will be done to examine the prostate. In this technique, a transducer, the device that sends sound waves and receives echoes to produce a sonogram, is attached to a small probe and inserted into the rectum.

The radiologist will review your exam before you leave to make sure adequate images have been obtained. A report of your exam will be sent to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.

Thyroid

An ultrasound exam is used in the diagnosis and treatment of problems with the area of the neck that includes the thyroid gland and the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones to control metabolism and the amount of calcium in your blood and bones. The test is commonly performed to investigate thyroid nodules and to determine whether or not the nodules are cancerous or benign.

What should I expect?

Prior to the exam, you will change into a gown and lie on an exam table. A gel is applied to your skin to ensure that the transducer (the probe that emits the high-frequency sound waves) has good contact for sound transmission. The technologist firmly presses the transducer to your skin and moves it over your neck area to get images of structures inside the neck.

You should experience no pain or discomfort. The exam takes approximately 30 minutes.

The radiologist will review your exam before you leave to make sure adequate images have been obtained. A report of your exam will be sent to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.

Vascular Ultrasound

Vascular ultrasound, also known as vascular sonography, captures real-time images of the blood vessels inside the body. The test is useful for evaluating the body's circulatory system and identifying blockages (stenosis), blood clots, plaque or emboli. The exam can also help determine whether a patient is a good candidate for angioplasty.

Doppler ultrasound, a special application of the technology, measures the direction and speed of blood cells as they move through vessels. Computers convert the sounds into graphs or pictures that represent the blood flow. The exam is used to evaluate blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body's major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.

What should I expect?

You will change into a gown and lie on an exam table. A gel is applied to your skin to ensure that the transducer (the probe that emits the high-frequency sound waves) has good contact for sound transmission.

The transducer is placed on your skin and is moved over the area of interest as the technologist records various images. You should experience no pain or discomfort during the exam.

The radiologist will review your exam before you leave to make sure adequate images have been obtained. A report of your exam will be sent to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.