Ultrasound, also known as sonography, uses sound waves to see inside the body and examine the internal organs. Ultrasound does not emit ionizing radiation, therefore it is considered very safe and painless for everyone, including children and pregnant women.
Here at Radiology Consultants of Lynchburg our Ultrasound unit is ACR accredited, an honor we are quite proud to have achieved. There are strict guidelines and regulations that we are required to maintain and we encourage you to visit the ACR’s website to appreciate our high standards of care. http://www.acraccreditation.org/accredited-facility-search
How Long Will it Take?
An average Ultrasound scan takes 20-30 minutes. If however, you are scheduled for two ultrasound exams or bilateral studies for example, expect to be at our Imaging Center for the better part of an hour.
What Does an Ultrasound show?
Because ultrasound is acquired in real-time, its shows movement of internal organs and tissues which allows our Board Certified Radiologists to see certain processes taking place within the body i.e. blood flow. Ultrasound is also especially useful for:
- Evaluating organs in the abdomen and pelvis;
- Evaluating arteries and veins for blockages of blood clots; and
- Guiding biopsies of tumors.
Preparing for your Ultrasound
- In most cases, we ask our Ultrasound patients that are scheduled for any Abdomen or Pelvis scans to be NPO, which means nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your scheduled appointment. This allows the Ultrasound to have a better window to see through since it cannot penetrate through bone or gas. Quite commonly, your doctor may schedule an Abdominal US and an Upper GI to follow. It is critical that you are NPO to prevent the gallbladder from contracting, which happens after drinking or eating a meal, simply due to the digestion process.
- To evaluate the Pelvis, you will be asked to drink 32 ounces of water 1 hour before your exam to ensure a full bladder. We cannot perform the pelvic ultrasound until your bladder is adequately filled. We have a restroom immediately available at the completion of the exam.
- Your referring physician will instruct you how to prepare for your specific ultrasound. Please don’t hesitate to call if you should have any questions and one of our dedicated Ultrasonographers will be happy to assist you and answer any questions that you may have.
- We reserve morning time slots for our NPO patients, especially if they are diabetic. Bring any prescription medicine with you to take at the completion of the examination. Please call us if you have any specific questions about what medications that you can take prior to your exam, Insulin shots are fine to take at your routine time. NPO simply means nothing by mouth.
What to expect?
- You will be asked to rest flat on a cushioned examination table while the registered Ultrasonographers acquire their images.
- A small probe, called a transducer, is pressed against the body and sound waves are reflected off of the organs. From the returning sound waves, pictures are created that our Board Certified Radiologists review.
After the Procedure
- After a scan is completed, the images are stored in a computer system called PACS (Picture Archiving & Communications System). Most referring doctors can access these images online and review them with you in their office.
- Our Board Certified Radiologist will review your images and have the results faxed to your referring physician promptly.
- You may obtain a copy of your results from your referring physician. Only the patient can physically acquire them from our Imaging Center after showing proof of identity. This is in effort to protect not only your privacy but to reduce medical identity theft.