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Ultrasound Scans - Ultrasound Scanning
Ultrasound scanning is a medical diagnostic technique where sound waves are being used to image various parts of the body.
Other terms for ultrasound scans are sonograms, US and sonography.
Ultrasound scans are widely used these days as it is painless and safe for adults, children and foetuses. There are no side effects related to ultrasound scans such as the ones associated with radiation.
During the ultrasound scan, the sonographer rests a small probe over the skin. This probe produces sound waves i.e pulsations that travel through the tissues. Some of the sound waves are being reflected back to the transducer and the computer analyses the returning echoes and produces the image on the screen. It is the same principle with the sonar the navy uses.
Ultrasounds are being used to image mostly solid organs such as liver, kidneys, uterus and ovaries, muscles and blood vessels and babies in the womb.
It has, however, limited value in organs such lungs, bone, stomach and bowel/colon.
Ultrasound images are black and white but colour Doppler is being used to evaluate organ and blood vessel blood flow and this is what the red and blue colours on the screen are.