Ultra Sound Scan
“Effective imaging tests without radiation”
Ultrasounds give us information about many different medical conditions. Unlike some imaging tests, ultrasounds don’t use radiation. This makes them a safe and painless option for many patients, including women who are pregnant.
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. We use ultrasounds to capture real-time images of the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flow through blood vessels.
Ultrasound imaging tests for pregnancy
The type of ultrasound imaging test most patients are familiar with is fetal ultrasound. We use ultrasounds during pregnancy to evaluate the health of an unborn baby inside the mother’s womb. Sometimes your doctor may order another type of ultrasound called a biophysical profile to monitor a baby’s health in the last trimester of pregnancy.
Ultrasound imaging tests for other conditions
Ultrasounds can give us information about many health conditions. Some of the types of ultrasounds we offer include:
- Abdominal Ultrasound, which helps us diagnose conditions like abdominal masses, gallstones, kidney stones or liver disease.
- Bladder ultrasound, which we use to diagnose conditions like bladder inflammation, bladder obstruction, and bladder masses (both cancerous and noncancerous).
- Breast ultrasound, which we use to evaluate whether a breast lump is solid or filled with fluid.
- Pelvic ultrasound, which helps us diagnose problems like fibroids and disorders of the ovaries.
- Prostate ultrasound, which gives us information about conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis, and prostate cancer.
- Soft-tissue mass ultrasound, which helps us diagnose problems like cysts (fluid-filled pockets of tissue) and Lipomas.
- Scrotal ultrasound, which creates images of the scrotum and testicles.
- Thyroid ultrasound, which produces images of the thyroid to help us diagnose thyroid disorders.
- Transvaginal ultrasound, which gives us detailed views of the uterus, the uterine lining, and the ovaries. We perform this test for certain types of infertility, pelvic pain, and abnormal vaginal bleeding and menstrual problems.
- Echocardiography, is a type of Ultrasound scan used to look at the heart and nearby blood vessels. An echocardiogram can help diagnose and monitor certain heart conditions by checking the structure of the heart and surrounding blood vessels, analyzing how blood flows through them, and assessing the pumping chambers of the heart.
Doppler ultrasound, is a noninvasive test that can be used to estimate the blood flow through your blood vessels by bouncing high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) off circulating red blood cells. A regular ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images, but can’t show blood flow.
A Doppler ultrasound may help diagnose many conditions, including:
- Blood clots
- Poorly functioning valves in your leg veins, which can cause blood or other fluids to pool in your legs (venous insufficiency)
- Heart valve defects and congenital heart disease
- A blocked artery (arterial occlusion)
- Decreased blood circulation into your legs (peripheral artery disease)
- Bulging arteries (aneurysms)
- Narrowing of an artery, such as in your neck (carotid artery stenosis)
A Doppler ultrasound can estimate how fast blood flows by measuring the rate of change in its pitch (frequency). During a Doppler ultrasound, a technician trained in ultrasound imaging (sonographer) presses a small hand-held device (transducer), about the size of a bar of soap, against your skin over the area of your body being examined, moving from one area to another as necessary.
This test may be done as an alternative to more-invasive procedures, such as angiography, which involves injecting dye into the blood vessels so that they show up clearly on X-ray images.
A Doppler ultrasound test may also help your doctor check for injuries to your arteries or to monitor certain treatments to your veins and arteries.
Some of the interventional procedures that are done through the Ultrasound department at Kisubi Hospital are:
- Paracentesis, a procedure that uses ultrasound to guide the placement of a catheter to drain fluid in the abdomen.
- Thoracocentesis, which uses ultrasound guidance to drain fluid within the chest cavity.
- Thyroid fine needle aspiration and thyroid core biopsy, image-guided procedures to locate thyroid gland tissues for testing.
All of our ultrasound technicians (sonographers) are registered with the Uganda allied professionals council.
We conduct most ultrasounds by applying a warm gel to the skin and passing a special probe over the area being scanned. We may need to insert a probe into the body for some ultrasounds. Your doctor and sonographer will go over the details with you before your test.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions before your test, including dietary restrictions. Some ultrasounds require a full bladder so the sonographer can get a clear view during your test, so you may have to wait to urinate until after your ultrasound.