The Many Vital Uses of Ultrasound in Medicine

There’s a misconception that the ultrasound is an advanced x-ray. But it is quite different from the x-ray machine. When in use, x-rays produce radiation in order to get images of internal bodily organs. An ultrasound, however, uses no radiation to generate images. Ultrasound devices use “sound” or ultrasonic waves to see into the body. This device sends sound waves into the body, and the computer constructs an image based on the “echoes” that reverberate from the body. The method is much like what dolphins and bats use when navigating, communicating or looking for food.

Ultrasounds are critical in diagnosis and preventive treatment. Unlike the x-ray, the ultrasound allows experts to view organs during real time. It’s not just a quick picture that doctors check out later. An ultrasound machine makes it possible for physicians and radiologists to observe blood flow, and the movements of the heart and other organs. And of course, the technology also allows you to “check in” on your baby while it’s still in the womb.


Obstetrics and Gynecology

Prenatal ultrasounds are not only performed to determine the sex of your baby. But these are also done to ensure that your baby is developing properly and that there are no complications for the impending birth. Also, the ideal method for checking up on the health of your ovaries and uterus without a pelvic exam is via ultrasound.

Heart Evaluation

Ultrasound gadgets let doctors view how well the heart is beating and how well the blood is being pumped into and from the heart. Furthermore, ultrasound tools allow physicians to observe the blood flow in all major arteries and veins as well.

Detecting Cancer & Abnormal Growths

The ultrasound machine will be able to find cysts, tumors, or other forms of foreign elements inside a person’s body without subjecting one’s self to the poking and prodding of doctors. Prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and liver cancer are just a few examples of cancer types that can easily be visualized using ultrasound equipment.

Emergency Diagnosis

In emergencies, ultrasound devices can be used to detect things, from blood clots to bleeding, in the chest. These can also be used to determine if a patient has an ectopic pregnancy or a ruptured appendix. E.R. doctors are also known to utilize ultrasonic gadgets to check the heart of an individual in order to determine if they can still resuscitate the patient.

Is Ultrasound Safe?

Ultrasounds are completely safe. Subjecting one’s self to diagnostic ultrasound scans has no known side effects primarily because ultrasounds are not reliant on radiation. Yet recently, there have been speculations that there may be a connection between too many ultrasound scans and autism. The theory is that ultrasounds, when performed too long or too often, might increase the temperature inside the womb, which might then affect the fetus and its development. But so far, there is little evidence to support such claims. If you’re really concerned, you can limit prenatal ultrasounds, or ask your obstetrician about what’s best and safe for you and your unborn child.