Ultrasound (sometimes referred to as diagnostic sonography or ultrasonography) Overview

Ultrasound examinations use sound waves at a frequency higher than the human audible spectrum to generate an image of what is going on inside the human body. Instead of using electromagnetic or ionizing radiation common in other tests, the ultrasound system works like a submarine sonar or a bat’s echo-location. In 1941 Austrian neurologist Karl Theo Dussik applied the developing science of ultrasound to medicine, taking an ultrasonic image that outlined the ventricles of the human brain.

How Ultrasound Work

An ultrasound examination is performed by placing an emitting device, called a transducer, on the skin. The transducer emits burst of sound just like a sonar device or a bat flying at night. The burst of sound travels through the body, echoing off of different tissue types in ways that form an image. The returning sound signal is picked up by the same transducer and sent to a computer.

Medical Uses of Ultrasound Sonography

Ultrasound sonography is useful for imaging soft tissues and vascular system in the body. It is a valuable ob-gyn tool, used during pregnancy to identify fetal birth defects and pregnancy issues. Ultrasounds are also valuable in determining the due date, sex, and whether or not there are twins during a pregnancy. Other medical uses include diagnosis of conditions that affect the organs and soft tissues, as well as the musculoskeletal system. The process is quick and painless.

Potential Hazards from Medical Uses of Ultrasound

Generally ultrasound is considered to be a very safe procedure. Sonic waves do create a small amount of heat internally, but over 50 years of use have shown no side effects or risks during pregnancy.

Crown Valley Imaging located in Orange County has two imaging centers where you can have ultrasound exams performed by qualified technologists at the Mission Viejo office. Images are read and interpreted by Board Certified Neuroradiologists and Board Certified Musculoskeletal Radiologists and reports are generated within 24-48 business hours.