Patients and Providers MRI

What is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (as is used in X-rays) and are a safe, reliable way to see specific parts of the body or organs as they function in real-time.

What to Expect

Most ultrasound examinations are painless, fast, and easy. You will be positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. The radiologist or sonographer will apply some warm, water-based gel on your skin and then place the transducer firmly against your body, moving it back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured. There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer is pressed against the area being examined. If scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, however, you may feel pressure or minor pain from the transducer.

Preparing for Your Exam

Generally, no preparation is needed. If your doctor has ordered a test to rule out abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), we require that you do not take anything by mouth after midnight except for oral medication (with water if necessary). You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You may need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined. You also may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.