What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound which is also known as sonography is a medical procedure which makes use of high frequency waves in order to produce visual images of tissues, organs and blood flow within the body. The ultrasound technique involves transmitting high frequency sound waves to the area of interest in the body and recording the returning echoes. This procedure is commonly known as an ultrasound scan or a sonogram. The ultrasound technique was developed during World War 2. The purpose was to find submerged objects. Today, it is widely used for medical purposes.
Different body parts can be examined by using sonography. Some of the commonly looked at parts include the heart, blood vessels, female reproductive system, breasts, abdomen, prostrate and so on. In obstetrics, the technique is used to study the number, location and age of the fetus. It can also be used to detect abnormalities such as liver diseases and gallstones. Cardiac ultrasound can be used to identify heart diseases.
Over the years, ultrasound is being greatly used to detect and treat heart problems including vascular diseases and heart attacks. Diagnostic ultrasound makes use of no radiation and there are no risks of hazards such as infections, reactions, and bleeding. People who perform ultrasound techniques are known as vascular technologists and sonographers. These days, ultrasounds are commonly used on pregnant ladies to views images of their baby as well as their ovaries, placenta and amniotic sac. Scans are performed on the skin surface with the use of a gel which enhances the quality of the images. Transvaginal ultrasound is an alternative to the common types of ultrasounds. When the transvaginal ultrasound technique is employed, a tubular probe is inserted inside the vaginal canal.
This technique produces more clear images, but they are not greatly used. Before an ultrasound can be preformed, there are no set procedures that have to be followed. The only thing that doctors can recommend is taking 4-6 glass of water before the technique is performed. The reason is that when the bladder is full, doctors are able to view the image more clearly. People who want to become ultrasound professionals do not attend medical schools. Since ultrasound is a specialised area of health care, there are many schools which offer this program. It is important to note that sonographers are not physicians.
They are in fact trained in this specialised area. Interested students can choose to take certificate level courses or degree level courses. The length of the courses can vary from one year to four years.