What are the types of ultrasound scanning

Ultrasound: purpose, procedure, preparation and results

The ultrasound is a medical imaging procedure used to examine the body and organs. It is very widely used in diagnosis, treatment and biopsy. There are two types of ultrasound: diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound. Diagnostic ultrasound, which is often applied to the skin, creates images using high-frequency sound waves generated by a transducer (probe). For a better view, a diagnostic ultrasound head can also be inserted into the body through the gastrointestinal tract, the vagina or through blood vessels. This type of ultrasound also works with sound waves, but does not produce images. It is used to move and push tissue, warm it, break up blood clots, or administer drugs to specific parts of the body. A standard ultrasound has no harmful effect.

What is an ultrasound (US)?

Ultrasound, sonography and ultrasound scanning, also known as Doppler, use high-frequency sound waves to generate real-time images of organs and other structures in the body. The frequency of the sound waves is greater than 20kHZ and is above the threshold that the human ear can hear.

The sound waves are generated by a transducer that emits ultrasonic waves and can recognize echoes. This USG probe sends high-frequency sound waves to the body. (1)

How does the ultrasound work?

When a sound wave hits a dense object such as organs or bones in the body, it is reflected back or creates an echo. The resulting echoes generate electrical signals by reflecting them back to the probe and then sending them to the scanner.

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The echoes and their distances, measured by a computer, create a moving image that monitors the different densities of tissue, fluid and air in the body. One or more moving images are captured as still images. USG images can be two-dimensional (2D), three-dimensional (3D) or 4D (Motion 3D). (2)

What does ultrasound do?

ESG exams help diagnose various diseases and assess the organ damage caused by the disease. It's a screening that's often used to check for symptoms such as pain, swelling, and Infections as well as examining most of the body's internal organs.

When is the ultrasound used?

Circulatory disorders

Doppler ultrasound, a special ultrasound procedure:(3)

  • Measures the direction and speed of blood cells during vascular movement,
  • Checks the blood flow or pressure in a vein.
  • Determines the speed of blood flow and blockages.
  • Diagnoses various heart conditions, including heart valve problems and congestive heart failure, and assesses the damage after a heart attack.

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The ultrasound of the heart is called "echocardiography" or "echo". ECO provides images of the cardiovascular system and helps measure heart tissue movements.

It is also used for:

  • Examination of the walls of blood vessels,
  • Check for DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or Aneurysm,
  • I check the heart and the heartbeat of the fetus
  • Examination of plaque buildup and clots,
  • Examination of blockages or narrowing of the arteries,
  • Control of Tumors and congenital vascular injuries,
  • Examination of the heart and blood vessels, including the aorta and its main branches,
  • Monitoring the decrease, lack, or increase in blood flow in various organs, such as the testes or ovaries. The information about the speed and volume of blood flow obtained from the Doppler ultrasound image can determine whether the patient is a suitable candidate for a procedure such as angioplasty (widening of the arteries).

Ultrasound in emergency medicine

It is used to assess conditions such as:

  • Traumatic wounds,
  • Pericardial tamponade,
  • Fluid build-up around the heart
  • Hemoperitoneum, or leaking blood in the abdomen.

Abdominal ultrasound

Gastroenterologists use USG to take pictures of the spleen, kidney, biliary tract, the Gallbladder, liver, aorta, inferior vena cava, pancreas, and other solid organs in the abdomen. You will benefit from ultrasound to diagnose gallbladder infection known as suspected gallbladder stones or cholecystitis. USG can detect swelling or infection in the appendix, which is a sign of appendicitis. (4)

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Ultrasound in newborns

Ultrasound machines can perform a USG scan of the newborn by placing the probe on the fontanel, the soft spot on the newborn's skull. USG scan can monitor whether there is any brain damage or abnormality, genetic disorders, cerebrovascular disease, bleeding, hydrocephalus in the baby. It is also used for examining the baby's hips and spine. (5)

Ultrasound in pregnancy

USG is a standard part of prenatal follow-up care. The obstetric ultrasound scan helps in monitoring the health of the child and mother. It collects images of the fetus or embryo in the uterus. The probe is usually placed on the mother's stomach, sometimes in the vagina.

This scan (through the vagina) provides a clear picture in the early stages of pregnancy. It is also a preferred method when the mother is overweight. Doppler sonography, which shows the fetus's heartbeat, is used to detect abnormalities in the heart and blood vessels. (6)

Ultrasound in urology

In urology, USG helps examine the amount of urine remaining in the bladder after urination and the health of organs in the pelvic area, including the uterus and testicles. Urological ultrasound, an external ultrasound scan, is used to examine the kidneys or bladder for stones, mass, or enlargement.

He can distinguish different types of swelling from testicular cancer in young or adult men.

Pelvic ultrasound can be performed internally or externally. Internal sonography, which is inserted into the rectum in men and in the vagina in women, provides information about the prostate, ovaries or uterus. Pelvic floor ESG scanning can help determine the extent of pelvic laxity, Incontinence or to determine intestinal obstruction.

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Sonography of the musculoskeletal system

Ultrasound scans can help diagnose problems with soft tissues, muscles, blood vessels, tendons, and joints. Musculoskeletal sonography can be used to examine connective tissue, bone surfaces, soft tissue, nerves, muscles and tendons. It is helpful in identifying frozen shoulder or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Helpful application of ultrasound

Ultrasound is used to orient the needles in applications such as needle biopsy or needle suction. In addition, intravenous access sometimes requires ultrasound to localize the vessels.

How is an ultrasound scan done?

Most ultrasound exams last between 15 minutes and 1 hour. It is usually done in a hospital's radiology department and performed by a radiologist or an ultrasound machine.

There are 3 main types of ultrasound exams: external, internal, and endoscopic, depending on which area of ​​the body is being examined.

External ultrasound examination

The patient lies on a bed and a water-based gel is applied to the area. The gel helps the probe to contact the body safely and eliminates the air between the probe and the skin that could prevent sound waves from entering the body.

During the exposure, the probe moves over the skin. It's not uncomfortable. After the procedure, the gel is wiped off the skin.

Internal ultrasound examination

The probe is placed inside the body. The internal examination enables a more detailed examination of the organs, such as the prostate, the ovaries or the uterus. During the procedure, you are asked to pull your knees towards your chest, lie on your back or on your side.

A small, sterile ultrasound probe is slowly inserted into the vagina or rectum and the images are shown on the monitor. Internal exams can be uncomfortable, but they usually aren't painful and don't take too long.

Endoscopic ultrasound examination

The probe is attached to a long, thin, flexible tube (endoscope) and transported further into the body, e.g. into the stomach or esophagus.

The patient is asked to lie down. Since endoscopic ultrasound scanning can be uncomfortable, the patient is usually given sedatives and a sedative Local anesthetic spray given to numb the throat. The mouthguard can also be used to protect the patient's teeth when the mouth is kept open.

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If sedatives are given on endoscopic ultrasound, it is recommended to stay in the hospital for a few hours after the procedure. It is necessary to accompany the patient for 24 hours. During this time, the patient should not use tools, machines or drink alcohol.

What should be considered before ultrasound?

Although most ultrasound exams do not require preparation, there are a few exceptions:

  • For some examinations, such as a gallbladder ultrasound, the patient is asked six hours beforehand not to eat or drink anything.
  • A full bladder may be required for exams such as pelvic ultrasound. The patient may be asked to drink six glasses of water two hours before the examination and to urinate only after the examination has been completed.
  • To improve the clarity of the image, a harmless substance called a contrast agent is injected before the examination.
  • During the ultrasound, the patient is asked to remove their accessories. Therefore, it is better to leave valuables at home and wear comfortable clothes.
  • The patient can be asked to take off all or part of his clothing.
  • If necessary, intravenous sedatives can be administered.
  • Young children may need additional preparation for ultrasound exams.
  • In most ultrasound exams, the patient lies on a movable examination table. They may be asked to change their position in order to improve the image quality.

What is a DEGUM level II ultrasound?

It is a type of ultrasound that is obtained in the 18th and 23rd week of pregnancy, when the baby's organ development is complete and the amniotic fluid increases. The Stage II ultrasound performed by perinatologists examines the baby's development and anatomy in detail.

With the detailed ultrasound, the baby's skeletal system, the structures in the skull (brain, cerebellum, liquor ducts), the visual field, the organs and vessels in the chest and the organs in the abdomen are examined in detail. It can be checked whether the placenta is close to the birth canal. The umbilical cord and the amniotic fluid volume are examined.

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The length of the cervix is ​​measured to predict a possible risk of premature birth. She can check for signs of birth defects or chromosomal disorders. The causes of complications are investigated. Anomalies in the uterus can be detected in a detailed ultrasound in 70-80% of cases.

What is color Doppler ultrasound?

Color Doppler, also called color ultrasound, uses a computer that converts the measurements into a range of colors to represent the speed and direction of blood flow through a blood vessel. He checks the flow in the uterine artery that goes to the baby from the right and left sides of the uterus.

This is how the likelihood of pregnancy poisoning is assessed. It is usually used in mothers with developmental disabilities and some systemic diseases. It is used to detect a decrease in amniotic fluid or delayed growth.

Color ultrasound works well with testicular ultrasound. This high quality color imaging has made testicular ultrasound a definitive and specific examination.

What is a 4D ultrasound, why is it performed?

Two-dimensional ultrasound imaging is the most common. Three- and four-dimensional ultrasound are possible thanks to the improved computer-aided analysis of the sound waves recorded from different angles.

Three-dimensional images are collected from sound waves that come back from different angles. The pictures are clearer and more detailed. The difference between 3D and 4D ultrasound is that 4D is similar to video showing three-dimensional movement in real time.

Uses and types of ultrasound

Gynecological ultrasound

He monitors the lower abdomen, uterus, and ovaries, which is done in two ways: abdominal and vaginal areas. The bladder has to be full for this. With vaginal ultrasound, the bladder doesn't have to be full, and it gives better vision when it's empty. The organs are shown more clearly with a vaginal ultrasound. The egg development capacity, the structure of the ovaries, cysts and tumors can be recognized.

Urological ultrasound

There is no need to be on an empty stomach or prepare your bowels. The patient can be asked to drink a glass of water an hour before the examination. The ultrasound is performed while lying on your back. The probe is placed between the abdomen and the pelvic bone.

The image is displayed on a monitor. The bladder will be asked to empty the bladder to see how the bladder is emptying, and the emptied bladder will be monitored again.

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  • Prostate (transrectal) ultrasound

Prostate ultrasound (transrectal ultrasound), which allows a detailed view of the prostate, is usually performed by placing a special ultrasound probe in the male rectum. When diagnosing prostate disease, the prostate and adjacent tissues are examined. In addition to the ultrasound examination, a tissue sample from the prostate is also required for early detection of prostate cancer.

The patient may be asked to wear a gown and lie on their side by pulling their knees toward their chest. An ultrasound head the size of a finger is inserted into the rectum. If a biopsy is scheduled, it may be necessary to stop aspirin and other blood thinners and do an enema to cleanse the colon 7 to 10 days before the procedure.

The testicular ultrasound helps assess almost any problem in the scrotum, the pouch that contains the testicles. No preparation is required. The examination is carried out in the supine position on the table. The scrotum is placed on a towel, on which a warm gel is applied to transmit the sound waves and the probe is moved over the area. A well-done scrotum color Doppler ultrasound exam takes at least 15 minutes.

Brain ultrasound scan

Head and Transcranial Doppler are ultrasound exams to assess brain tissue and blood flow to the brain, respectively.

The head ultrasound scan creates images of the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and the fluid-filled cavities (ventricles) in the deep part of the brain. This test is usually done on infants who have not yet completed their skull formation. The gaps between the skull bones serve as “windows” through which the ultrasonic waves can enter the brain and return unhindered.

The ultrasound head and some gel are placed in areas where there is no bone. The baby's brain development is assessed with the trans-Fontanel ultrasound. This procedure does not require any special preparation.

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The transcranial Doppler (TCD) evaluates both the direction and the speed of blood flow in the main arteries of the brain. This ultrasound examination is also used during surgical interventions. The TCD can be used alone or during other diagnostic tests such as Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and Computed tomography (CT) can be used.

The patient may be asked not to use any nicotine-containing products, which may cause blood vessel contraction, prior to the brain ultrasound.

Ultrasound of the urinary tract

With kidney and urine ultrasound, the patient lies on his back, on his stomach and on his side. The ultrasound head is brought into contact with the body at different angles. The gel is applied to the surface of the skin. For pelvic ultrasonography, which assesses the prostate and bladder, the bladder must be full. If only a pelvic exam is required, there is no need to fast.

Sonography of the abdomen

In the abdominal USG, all organs in the abdomen are examined. The abdominal USG monitors the kidneys, liver, gallbladder and ducts, spleen, abdominal aorta, pancreas and other abdominal vessels.

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In order to better monitor the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas and aorta and to prevent the build-up of gases in the intestines, the patient may be asked to eat or not to eat a lean meal 8 to 12 hours before the examination. For the ultrasound examination of the kidneys, the bladder must be full; the patient may be asked to drink 4 to 6 glasses of fluid about an hour before the examination.

Side effects of ultrasound

  • Most ultrasound exams are non-invasive.
  • No radiation is used for ultrasound imaging.
  • It is a safe imaging method to follow up babies during pregnancy. However, ultrasound is only recommended during pregnancy if it is medically necessary.
  • Anyone who is allergic to latex should inform the sonographer or doctor who is performing the examination. In this case a latex-free probe cover is used.
  • The probe may cause discomfort when pushed into the skin or penetrated the body.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound can be a little more uncomfortable and can cause temporary side effects such as a sore throat or gas. In some cases, there is also a risk of internal bleeding.


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