Ultrasound imaging is another state-of-the-art diagnostic tool most commonly used for observing babies inside the womb, another form is called Echocardiography. This test shows colorized images of the beating heart.
Ultrasound imaging is a safe, painless diagnostic procedure. It bounces sound waves off internal organs or structures and then captures the returning echoes as a photograph or moving image on a monitor. There is no injection or radiation exposure associated with ultrasound studies.
Here’s what to expect during an ultrasound:
- A jelly-like substance is applied to the skin where the ultrasound will be performed. Gel improves the transmission of sound.
- A transducer device is slid and gently pressed across the area of observation.
- Sound waves pass from the transducer through the patient’s skin and bounce back to the transducer.
- These echoes are captured and translate into images.
- Images are instantly displayed on a monitor.
- These images are captured on other media for a radiologist to review and interpret.
- Ultrasound can also be used to examine the arterial and venous systems.
During pregnancy, ultrasound is used for several purposes:
- To monitor the growth, development and well being of a fetus.
- To check the baby’s due date.
- To measure the size of a baby’s head and determine her age.
- To confirm the number of babies.