What is Ultrasound?
Diagnostic ultrasound, also called sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce relatively precise images of structures within your body. The images produced during an ultrasound examination often provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions.
Most ultrasound examinations are done using a sonar device outside of your body, though some ultrasound examinations involve placing a device inside your body.
Why it’s done
You may need to undergo an ultrasound for a variety of reasons. Ultrasound may be used, for example, to:
- Assess a fetus
- Diagnose gallbladder disease
- Evaluate flow in blood vessels
- Guide a needle for biopsy or tumor treatment
- Evaluate a breast lump
- Check your thyroid gland
- Study your heart
- Diagnose some forms of infection
- Diagnose some forms of cancer
- Reveal abnormalities in the genitalia and prostate
- Evaluate abnormalities of the muscles and tendons