DIAGNOSTIC ULTRASOUND

Diagnostic Ultrasound in Madison, CT

Do You Need to Have a Diagnostic Ultrasound?


This painless procedure uses the echoes of high-frequency sound waves rather than radiation to generate pictures of internal organs and tissues. These images are displayed on a computer screen and printed to film to help the radiologist and your physician make a diagnosis and provide the appropriate treatment.

Your ultrasound will be performed by registered medical sonographers. The ultrasound equipment consists of a computer screen, ultrasound unit, and transducer. The transducer sends and receives the sound waves used to generate the pictures for the computer screen.

What It Entails


You will lie on a table on your back, abdomen or side, depending upon what examination is being performed. A clear gel will be applied to your skin to provide good contact between the transducer and your skin. (The gel may feel cool against your skin.) After the gel is applied, the transducer is moved across the part of your body being examined. The transducer sends echoes from the sound waves to the ultrasound unit, which generates a two-dimensional picture on the screen. Each image is saved and printed to film so the radiologist can study the images and report the results to the physician.

When your ultrasound is scheduled, you will be given directions which must be followed to ensure accurate test results. If these instructions are not followed, examination may be delayed or rescheduled.

Fasting prior to some ultrasound studies is necessary to reduce the amount of gas in the abdominal cavity. The abdominal organs can be seen better if there is no gas in the way.

Dairy products cannot be eaten prior to abdominal ultrasound studies because they cause the gall bladder to contract, making it difficult to view.
Examination-Specific Patient Preparation

Abdominal Ultrasound
This ultrasound examination is used to study the liver, gall bladder, bile ducts, pancreas, kidneys and spleen. If your examination is scheduled for the morning, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight or the morning of the examination. If you normally take medications in the morning, please call our office for further instructions. If your examination is scheduled for the afternoon, you may eat a light breakfast (toast with jelly, black coffee, or tea). You should have absolutely no dairy products prior to your examination, and you should not eat or drink within 4 hours of the examination.

Example: If your appointment is scheduled for 2:00 PM, you may eat a light breakfast (no dairy products) prior to 10:00 am. After 10:00 am, you should not have anything to eat or drink.

Cardiac Ultrasound
This ultrasound examination requires no special preparation.

Carotid Ultrasound
This ultrasound examination requires no special preparation.

Pelvic and Obstetrical Ultrasound
This ultrasound examination is very useful during pregnancy because no radiation is used, making it a safe procedure for both mother and fetus.

At the 18-week stage of pregnancy, ultrasound can be used to provide important information about the development of the fetus. Your obstetrician will help you determine when the ultrasound should be performed. At this time, the number of gestations, position of the fetus and placenta, and the fetal anatomy can be assessed. The age of the fetus (how far along you are) and estimated due date can also be determined. The results of the obstetrical ultrasound will be reported to your obstetrician, who will share them with you.

During a pelvic ultrasound, the uterus and ovaries can be seen better if the bladder is full, because sound waves travel better through liquid.

Therefore, for pelvic and obstetrical ultrasound, empty your bladder one hour and fifteen minutes prior to your appointment. Then drink 40 ounces of any non-carbonated fluid. You should have all your fluids down one hour prior to your examination.

Example: If your appointment is at 10:30 AM, empty your bladder at 9:15 AM. Drink 40 ounces of non-carbonated fluid between 9:15 AM and 9:30 AM. Do not void again.

Renal Ultrasound
Follow the preparations for the abdominal ultrasound.

Transvaginal Ultrasound
During this ultrasound examination, a sterile probe is placed in the vagina to provide a detailed picture of the ovaries and uterus. No special preparation is necessary.

Venous Doppler
No special preparation is necessary.
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