Reasons Why We Use Ultrasound

Jul 01, 2022
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Reasons Why We Use Ultrasound

Ultrasound is often associated with pregnancy. It offers a noninvasive way for obstetricians to see an unborn baby in the womb. But ultrasound has so many more applications when it comes to your health.

Here at St. Michael’s Elite Hospital, located in Sugar Land, Texas, we use ultrasound for diagnosis and sometimes to guide treatment. 

There are so many reasons our team might order an ultrasound test for you. Here are some of the most common. 

Pregnancy ultrasound

As mentioned before, an ultrasound is a valuable tool for doctors when you suspect you are pregnant or your pregnancy has been confirmed. It tells us a lot more than just the sex of your baby.

Prenatal ultrasound allows us to determine approximately how far along you are. Ultrasound also provides information such as:

  • If you’re carrying more than one fetus
  • Fetal growth rate
  • Any congenital conditions in your baby’s organs
  • Your baby’s heart rate
  • Your baby’s position in the womb

An ultrasound also measures your levels of amniotic fluid.

Diagnosis of various illnesses or conditions

Ultrasound uses sound waves to see inside your body so we can see a growing baby but also other internal parts of your body. 

If you feel a lump or bulge, have unexplained pain, or receive an abnormal blood test, an ultrasound can give your doctor clues about what might be wrong.

We might order an ultrasound of:

Your abdomen

An abdominal ultrasound involves moving the wand across the skin of your belly to look for causes of abdominal pain. The exam can evaluate your gallbladder, look for kidney stones, and assess you for liver inflammation or disease.

Your kidneys

If you have an unusual urine sample or pain during urination, a renal (kidney) ultrasound evaluates the size, locations, and shape of your kidneys. This ultrasound also examines your ureters and bladder, checking all the areas of infection, obstruction, or tumors.

Your pelvic area

Women who are having pain during intercourse, ongoing pelvic pain, or extremely heavy menstrual periods benefit from a pelvic ultrasound. The exam looks at your reproductive organs and can detect uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, or prolapse. Sometimes a transvaginal ultrasound, during which the sterile ultrasound wand is inserted into the vaginal canal, gives a better image of these organs.

Men with pelvic pain or frequent urination benefit from a pelvic ultrasound to examine their prostate and rectum. 

Your blood flow

A special type of ultrasound, called a Doppler ultrasound, evaluates how blood moves through your body and whether you have blockages or vein problems, like vascular disease, blood clots, or narrowing arteries. 

Assistance for certain procedures

Ultrasound provides images that guide the obtaining of tissue or fluid samples from areas of inflammation in your joints, cysts in organs or other soft tissue, and soft-tissue masses. 

Patients with pain conditions, like arthritis or spinal stenosis, benefit from ultrasound-guided injections of corticosteroids or nerve blocks to reduce pain temporarily. 

Ultrasound helps the provider direct the medication to the correct area to best reduce pain.

Ultrasounds are safe and not painful. They don’t use radiation like X-rays but give certain information that’s useful to your provider.

To learn more about the diagnostic imaging offered at St. Michael's Elite Hospital in Sugar Land, call today or use this website to set up an appointment.