Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body through the use of high-frequency sound waves. The reflected sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time visual image. Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body's internal organs, including but not limited to the heart, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and bladder. Because ultrasound images are captured in real time, they can show movement of internal tissues and organs and enable physicians to see blood flow and heart valve functions. This can help in diagnosing a variety of heart conditions and assessing damage after a heart attack or other illness. Ultrasound remains the procedure of choice for expectant mothers.
Using ultrasound during pregnancy: During ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves pass through the mother’s body and her baby’s. You can’t hear the sound waves, but the ultrasound equipment can. It converts them to a visual image on a monitor, allowing expectant parents and the physician to “see” the baby inside the uterus.
Ultrasounds can screen for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA), is a condition in which the lining of the blood vessel called the aorta is enlarged within the abdomen. Abdominal aortic aneurysms pose a threat because they are usually silent until a medical emergency occurs.
During abdominal ultrasound If you are having an abdominal ultrasound during pregnancy or to diagnose an abdominal condition, you will lie down on the exam- nation table and a layer of gel or oil will be applied to your abdomen so the sound waves more easily reach your baby. Then the transducer, a device that produces and receives the sound waves and sends them to a computer, is slowly moved back and forth over your abdomen. The sound waves are used to create a picture called a sonogram, which can be viewed on a TV monitor. The procedure is painless and takes less than half an hour.