Pros and Cons of Ultrasound Scan Test
When most people think of the word “ultrasound,” they think of a pregnant woman in the doctor’s office getting a look at the little one growing in her womb. However, while it’s true that this is typically the most common use of ultrasound technology, this diagnostic tool has many other applications as well. You can check this site out for more information on becoming an ultrasound technician.
This technology is also often referred to as sonography and involves the use of sound waves to create a picture of what is going on inside the body. There is an instrument that is known as a transducer that emits a sound at a high frequency, inaudible to human ears. The echoes of the sound waves bounce back and are recorded to determine the consistency, size, and shape of soft tissues/organs. This information is then relayed to create images on a computer screen. Ultrasound techs have been specially trained to perform this test. A radiologist or your physician will then be called in to interpret the images. This technology can be used to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of specific conditions.
As mentioned, this technology is often used to confirm/date a pregnancy, as well as diagnose specific conditions and guide physicians through precisely treating specific conditions. Following are the specific uses of ultrasound technology.
Pregnancy: when it comes to pregnancy, there are many uses of ultrasound imaging. In the early stages, this technology can be used to determine due dates, reveal the presence of multiples, and to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. In addition, it is valuable in screening for potential issues such as birth defects, issues with the placenta, breech position, and other problems. In addition, many parents look forward to learning whether they are having a boy or girl about halfway through the pregnancy through ultrasound. Later on in the pregnancy, ultrasound can be used to estimate the size of the baby.
Diagnostics: physicians can use ultrasound imaging to diagnose a variety of different conditions that have an effect on the organs/soft tissues of the body including the blood vessels, heart, spleen, kidneys, liver, pancreas, uterus, gallbladder, uterus, thyroid, testicles, and eyes. However, you must be aware that there are some limitations to ultrasound diagnostics- the sound waves will not transmit well through bone or parts of the body that are holding gas/air such as the bowels.
Medical Procedures: this technology can help physicians during procedures such as a needle biopsy, which requires the physician to remove tissue from a specific area inside the body to be tested in a lab.
Therapeutic applications: in some cases, this technology can be used to detect/treat injuries to soft tissues.
There are many benefits when it comes to ultrasound technology:
- They are typically painless and don’t require incisions, needles, or injections.
- The patient is not exposed to ionizing radiation, which means the procedure is safer than others such as CT scans or x-rays. In fact, when used as directed by the health care provider, there are no known harmful side effects.
- This technology will capture images of soft tissue that will not show up well on an x-ray.
- This technology is accessible and much less expensive than some of the other tools.
There really aren’t any disadvantages to ultrasound technology, other than sometimes they’re not really accurate- especially when it comes to pregnancy. In some cases, the image may detect a problem, but you have a perfectly healthy baby.