9 Common Reasons for an Ultrasound

Feb 11, 2022
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9 Common Reasons for an Ultrasound

An ultrasound uses sound waves to see inside your body. This valuable technology can be used to evaluate and diagnose a wide range of medical conditions.

Here are nine reasons why our team at St. Michael’s Elite Hospital might order one during your visit. 

1. Check the gallbladder 

If you have serious and sudden pain in the upper right part or center of your abdomen, pain between your shoulder blades, and nausea and vomiting, it could be a problem with your gallbladder. 

Many people develop gallstones. When these crystalized bile bundles block the bile duct or gallbladder, pain ensues. Often, a simple ultrasound can confirm the presence of gallstones and pinpoint the size and location of these stones. 

2. Observe a growing fetus

One of the most well-known reasons for an ultrasound is to confirm a pregnancy. An ultrasound reveals the baby’s heartbeat and, as the baby grows, the gender. An ultrasound also lets our team assess your baby’s development. 

3. Assess the thyroid gland

If our team detects a lump or nodule in the thyroid — the butterfly-shaped gland in the middle of your throat — we may order an ultrasound. An ultrasound can detect nodules that aren’t easily palpated with an external exam.

The ultrasound can determine if the lump is indeed on the thyroid or just part of nearby anatomy. It also allows our team to determine if the lump looks benign or if it should be biopsied.

4. Check your carotid arteries

Your carotid arteries are located on either side of your neck. If these get blocked or clogged, you’re at a greater risk of stroke. An ultrasound can assess the buildup of plaque in these arteries and inform treatment to decrease your stroke risk. 

5. Find the cause of pelvic pain

A pelvic ultrasound checks a woman’s reproductive organs to determine why she might be struggling with pelvic pain, painful intercourse, or irregular vaginal bleeding. The ultrasound can evaluate organs like the fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina, and ovaries. 

6. Look for cancer

An ultrasound can help find tumors in some parts of the body that don’t show up well on X-rays. If a lump is discovered, the ultrasound can help our team guide a needle to take a sample of the tumor and send it off for analysis.

7. Assess joint health

Because an ultrasound gives an optimal view of soft tissue, injuries in the joints that don’t show up on X-ray sometimes show up on an ultrasound. We can view muscles, ligaments, nerves, tendons, and joints, so we can diagnose sprains, tears, trapped nerves, strains, and arthritis. 

8. Look for abnormalities in the abdomen

If we suspect a problem with the organs or structures within the abdomen, an ultrasound is a helpful tool. It can assess the liver, pancreas, bile ducts, gallbladder, spleen, and abdominal aorta. An ultrasound gives us a quick picture of the abdomen so we can get a better idea of what might be causing abdominal pain or other symptoms. 

9. Check the kidneys

An ultrasound can offer essential information about your kidneys’ size, location, and shape. We can detect tumors, abscesses, obstructions, excess fluid, or infection in or around the kidneys with the sound imaging test. Kidney stones can sometimes be detected, too. 

If you’re in need of emergency services, an ultrasound, or other state-of-the-art medical services, contact St. Michael's Elite Hospital in Sugar Land, Texas. We have in-patient and out-patient services to meet your needs.