While ultrasound technology is commonly associated with pregnancy scans, this versatile diagnostic tool has a wide range of applications across various medical disciplines. Also known as sonography, this medical technology utilises high-frequency sound waves to generate real-time images of the body's internal structures, enabling healthcare professionals to assess, diagnose and monitor a variety of conditions. Read on to find out more about the technique, especially if you thought it was only used to monitor babies in the womb.
Cardiac ultrasound, or echocardiography, is a valuable tool for assessing the structure and function of the heart. Providing real-time images of the heart's chambers, valves and blood vessels enables healthcare professionals to diagnose and monitor various heart conditions, such as valve disorders, congenital heart defects and cardiomyopathies. Additionally, it can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments and to guide certain procedures, such as the placement of pacemakers or the repair of heart valves. For example, patients experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain may undergo an echocardiogram to determine the cause of their symptoms.
This is a non-invasive imaging technique used to examine the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and soft tissues of the body. As a diagnostic tool, it can be employed to identify injuries, inflammation and other abnormalities, aiding in the diagnosis of conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis and muscle tears, for example. It is also useful for guiding therapeutic interventions, such as the administration of injections or the aspiration of fluid from swollen joints.
Abdominal and Pelvic Ultrasound
This technology can be used to assess the organs and structures within the abdominal and pelvic regions, including the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and urinary bladder. Abdominal and pelvic ultrasonic surveys can assist healthcare professionals in diagnosing various conditions, such as gallstones, kidney stones and liver disease, among others. Moreover, the method can be employed to guide certain procedures, such as biopsies and the insertion of catheters.
Vascular ultrasound is a common imaging technique these days that is used to evaluate the body's blood vessels, including its arteries and veins. This diagnostic tool can be employed to detect and monitor various vascular conditions, such as blood clots, aneurysms and arterial blockages. It can also be used to assess blood flow, providing crucial information for healthcare professionals when planning and evaluating treatments, such as angioplasty or bypass surgery. For instance, someone showing symptoms of peripheral artery disease, such as leg pain or numbness, may undergo an ultrasound assessment to determine their level of blood flow and to identify any blockages in their arteries.
For more information on ultrasounds, contact a professional near you.