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Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month

Brooke Phillips, CWCMS
Editor | Shield HealthCare
09/30/13  6:06 PM PST
Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month

October is Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month. Diagnostic medical ultrasound, also called sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of muscles, tendons, internal organs and other structures inside the body. The images that are produced during an ultrasound examination often provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions.  Medical ultrasound is noninvasive, and there is no ionizing radiation exposure.  When properly performed, it poses no known risks to the patient.

Some common types of ultrasound include:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Abdominal ultrasound (including bladder, kidney and renal ultrasounds)
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Pregnancy ultrasound
  • Scrotal ultrasound
  • Thyroid ultrasound
  • Transvaginal ultrasound 

Ultrasound examinations can be given by either a sonographer or a sonologist. Sonographers are highly trained medical professionals who receive extensive, specialized education in the field of diagnostic medical ultrasound, and they frequently perform the examination.  Sonologists are the physicians who interpret ultrasound examinations and determine the final diagnosis.

Ultrasound has been used to image parts of the human body for over 50 years, and it has become one of the most widely used diagnostic tools in modern medicine. Medical ultrasound is not only used during pregnancy – it is also used to help diagnose heart disease, breast cancer, ovarian and prostate cancer; to diagnose and break down kidney stones, to stimulate bone growth, treat cataracts and much more!  Ultrasound is used for cardiac, vascular, renal, liver and gallbladder scans; images of muscles, ligaments and tendons; testicular, thyroid and lymph node scans; and to help guide biopsies of masses found in the breast, thyroid, liver and kidney, among others. Sonography plays an important role in the evaluation of urinary tract disorders and renal disorders.

For more information about diagnostic medical ultrasound, visit the American Institute of Ultrasound in MedicineMedline Plus, and Mayo Clinic, who provided source information for this article.

 

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