What is an Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a diagnostic medical procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce dynamic visual images of organs, tissues or blood flow inside the body. The high-frequency sound waves are transmitted to the area of interest and the returning echoes recorded. This type of procedure is often referred to as a sonogram or ultrasound scan.
In obstetrics ultrasound is used to study the age, number, and location of the fetus, as well as to examine the fetus for birth defects or other potential problems. In the abdomen, it is used to detect abnormalities such as gallstones or liver disease. Heart disease can be identified through cardiac ultrasound.
Diagnostic ultrasound is noninvasive, involves no radiation, and avoids the possible hazards—such as bleeding, infection, or reactions to chemicals—of other diagnostic methods.