Lab Tests & Radiology
What is an Ultrasound?
Diagnostic Ultrasound is an imaging system which uses high frequency sound waves. The frequency of the sound wave that is used cannot be heard. Ultrasound cannot pass through bone or gas. For this reason, a coupling gel is used to ensure there is no air between the transducer and the skin surface.
A sound wave is generated by an ultrasound transducer and passes harmlessly through the tissue layers of the body. As the sound wave crosses tissue levels, part of the sound wave is reflected back to the transducer. This reflected sound wave is received by the transducer and converted into an image based on the intensity of the reflected sound wave.
The person operating the ultrasound machine is a Sonographer. A Sonographer is specifically trained in anatomy, physiology, disease processes and how they appear on ultrasounds, and physics. During the course of the ultrasound, the Sonographer will manipulate the transducer and different machine controls to optimize the image for interpretation by the Radiologist. The Radiologist is a physician specifically trained in making medical diagnoses from imaging studies. The Radiologist will send the results to the requesting health care provider. The Sonographer cannot give results or discuss the findings with the patient. Our Sonographers are registered though the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or the American Registry of Radiological Technologist (ARRT).
How do I schedule an Ultrasound?
After your appointment with your provider:
- The patient must have a valid ID card and be eligible for treatment at BJACH.
- Report to radiology on the second floor to schedule the exam (walk-in) or call for an appointment.
- Note: If you are unable to walk in to schedule the exam, please call the numbers listed below:
Depending on the type of exam ordered the order maybe examined by the Radiologist. There may be some preparation that the patient must follow to complete the exam.
There are many different types of ultrasound procedures performed at BJACH and different ways to prepare. The examination will be performed by a trained Ultrasound technologist, by the Radiologist or both. Because interpreting images is their medical specialty, unlike most other specialists, Radiologist have special training in the technology and techniques of ultrasound to get the best examinations. They also can bring together all available clinical and radiological information to come to a quick and correct diagnosis.
The different ultrasound procedures are separated into the most common prescribed categories below. Failure to follow preparation instructions may result in your exam being rescheduled. Specific instructions will be given to you by the receptionist when scheduling your exam. If you have questions regarding the reason for your exam or the results, you will need to talk to your health care provider.
At BJACH, we perform a wide variety of ultrasounds to include: OB/GYN-all trimester; OB's & gynecology ultrasounds; abdominal ultrasounds including gall bladder, liver, kidneys, aorta, pancreas, spleen, abdominal wall, right upper quadrant (RUQ); vascular to include carotid and upper & lower extremity venous ultrasounds; pediatric including neonatal head, hips, spine, renals and pylorus; Other ultrasounds include breast, thyroid, testicular and soft tissue to include special procedures.