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What is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound technology (or sonography) uses high-frequency sound waves to develop images of the inside of the body. Since the human body is made of over 90% water, sound waves can be used the same way sonar is used in the ocean. When sound hits an organ or tissue, sound waves bounce a response back. These echoes determine the size, shape, and consistency of organs and soft tissues. This safe and painless technology is relayed back to the ultrasound technician in real-time, producing life-like images on a screen.

Why is ultrasound used?

When most people think of ultrasound, it’s usually associated with pregnancy. Ultrasound scans are used most frequently throughout a women’s pregnancy to gather valuable information about the baby’s health and progress.

Ultrasounds can also be used for a variety of diagnostics and medical procedures that involve the soft tissue and organs. The heart, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, uterus, thyroid, and testicles are organs frequently scanned via ultrasound.

What can I expect during an ultrasound screening?

An ultrasound exam is usually fast and causes little to no discomfort. There is no radiation associated with an ultrasound so protective clothing is not required. Patients are awake the whole time during an ultrasound and may resume their normal activities after the scan.

Wear comfortable clothes the day of your ultrasound. In some cases, you may be required to disrobe or remove jewelry. The technician will apply a water-based gel to the area being scanned. This allows the transducer instrument to glide easily atop your skin.

Pregnancy Ultrasounds

Pregnant women at Ogden Clinic Women’s Center will have an early pregnancy ultrasound at 6 to 10 weeks to confirm and date their pregnancy. A mid-pregnancy ultrasound is conducted again at 16-20 weeks—this is when you can determine your baby’s sex, if you like.

Ogden Clinic also provides a 3D Live Ultrasound to our expectant mothers at 26 weeks. 3D Live Ultrasound is an opportunity to view crisp, high-definition photos of your baby. Parents love our 3D Live Ultrasound because it captures the most realistic glimpse of their baby that technology can offer.

What is checked during a pregnancy ultrasound?

During your mid-pregnancy ultrasound at Ogden Clinic, you doctor will check up on your baby’s developmental progress including:

  • Checking baby’s heartbeat
  • Checking to see if there is more than one baby
  • Checking the location of the placenta
  • Assessing the amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus
  • Checking for abnormalities of the head, neck, chest, spine, umbilical cord, and other major organs
  • Determining baby’s gender

Diagnostic Ultrasounds

Ultrasound screens are valuable for diagnosing a variety of conditions and assessing organ damage following illness. If you experience swelling, pain, or infection, your Ogden doctor may conduct a diagnostic ultrasound to assess the situation.

Diagnostic ultrasound is used at Ogden Clinic to examine several organs including but not limited to the:

  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Pancreas
  • Kidneys
  • Spleen
  • Thyroid and parathyroid
  • Bladder
  • Uterus and ovaries
  • Scrotum

Ultrasound technology can also assist biopsies. Your Ogden Clinic provider may use ultrasound to guide their needle into the affected site and collect sample cells for laboratory testing.

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