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What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a diagnostic tool that uses sound waves to see inside the body. It provides still pictures, as well as live images of blood vessels, tissues and organs, enabling physicians to watch organs as they move and assess blood flow through vessels. Since no X-rays are used, there is no radiation exposure with ultrasound. Ultrasound can be used to examine many body parts, including the:

  • Abdomen
  • Brain
  • Chest
  • Pelvis
  • Small body parts
  • Thyroid

When is ultrasound used?

Ultrasound is commonly used for OB exams to examine the health and positioning of the fetus. It also is useful in detecting swelling and abnormalities in organs, such as appendicitis and kidney stones. Ultrasound is used to identify cysts or tumors in the uterus, ovaries and prostate and identify clots in blood vessels or plaque buildup in arteries.

What can I expect?

An ultrasound is essentially painless. A water-soluble gel is applied to the skin on the area of the body undergoing examination. A sonographer, a state licensed professional with special training in ultrasound technology, will glide a small device called a transducer along the area of study. The transducer sends ultrasound waves into the body. These sound waves are reflected off of structures inside the body. Information from the sound waves is captured, analyzed by a computer, and used to create an image on a monitor which is interpreted by a radiologist. On occasion, the radiologist may accompany the sonographer during the exam to view the image live.

When can I expect results?

A highly qualified radiologist on staff at Good Samaritan Hospital will carefully review images taken during your ultrasound, and typically will send a report to your physician within 48 hours. Please allow 7 - 10 days for your physician to receive and review your test results. If you do not receive results after 14 days, please be sure to contact the physician who ordered the test.

If your physician ordered a stat or emergent exam, you may be asked to remain in the department until your physician has been informed of your results.

How do I schedule an ultrasound?

To schedule an ultrasound, please call 630.275.APPT (2778).

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