Ultrasound, also called sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to create video images of soft tissue areas of the body. Doctors use ultrasound imaging to examine internal organs, including the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, thyroid and reproductive systems, and to guide procedures such as needle biopsies.
Reston Hospital Center offers various types of ultrasound imaging, including endoscopic, echocardiogram, obstetric and vascular using conventional, 3-D color and 4-D ultrasound technology. 4-D imaging uses special computer software to generate photo-like images–a plus for expectant parents having an ultrasound of their unborn baby. These pictures can be obtained at approximately 28 weeks after conception. A complimentary 4-D exam is offered to all patients who have their diagnostic ultrasound at the Women's Imaging Center.
How You Benefit
Ultrasound tests are noninvasive, painless and cost effective. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the movement of a fetus as well as complex bodily functions such as blood flow and heart valve operation.
What to Expect
If you are having an ultrasound exam, follow the instruction provided by your physician prior to your appointment. When performing an ultrasound exam, a registered sonographer will spread a special gel on the part of the body being examined and press the transducer against the skin to obtain the image. The patient can view the images on a screen positioned just for their view. The exam usually takes less than 30 minutes. A radiologist will analyze the images and report the results to your doctor.