Have you been advised to get an ultrasound? You might have many questions in your mind about preparing for the same. Here, we bring to you the top 4 things you should be aware of before getting an ultrasound. However, before that let us understand how ultrasound scans work, and help to give clear and accurate images of different internal & external parts of our body.
During an ultrasound, a small ultrasound probe is placed on the part of the body that needs to be examined. This probe is connected to a monitor. As the technician moves the probe on a particular part of your body, it sends off sound waves, which are then converted into images. These images are displayed on the monitor.
The results are then printed off for the doctors to examine the condition, and advise further treatment. Today, thanks to the advancements in technology, you can get 3D/4D Ultrasound in Bangalore and other advanced diagnostic centers. These give you crystal clear images, and help the doctors in accurate diagnosis.
Top 4 things to know before an ultrasound scan
- Before the ultrasound
Preparing for the ultrasound is more important than the actual process itself. Different ultrasound scans require you to prepare differently. For example, a pregnancy scan, urinary bladder scan or pelvic area scan may require you to drink a lot of water, and not pass urine before the scan process. Sometimes, your doctor may advise you not to eat or drink anything about 10 to 12 hours before the scan, if the body parts to be examined includes your digestive system, gall bladder, liver, pancreas and the like.
You may ask to remove your clothes or wear a dress given by the hospital for certain types of scans. In some other cases, your doctor may give you a small dose of sedation to help you relax and get clear images of the ultrasound.
- During the ultrasound
A doctor, radiographer, sonographer, or a trained professional in this field will conduct your ultrasound. Regardless of the type of ultrasound you need to undergo, the process may take anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes. If you visit the best diagnostic center in Bangalore, or professional centers in your locality, you will be briefed on all the details of the ultrasound. They will give you complete reassurance and help you feel relaxed during the process. Mostly, you will be asked to undergo one of the three different types of scans – external, internal, or endoscopic ultrasound.
In external scans, the ultrasound probe is moved over the part of the body that needs to be examined. Eg. Abdominal scans
In internal scans, the ultrasound probe is inserted into the part of the body that needs to be examined. Eg. Transvaginal scans
In endoscopic ultrasound scans, the probe is first attached to a narrow, long tube, and the tube is then inserted into the body to get accurate images of the chest and abdomen area.
- After the ultrasound
Your doctor will advise you about continuing your normal activities after the scan. Usually, if you took an external ultrasound, you can resume your normal activities almost immediately after the scanning. For internal and endoscopic ultrasound scans, and for scans that required you to take a sedative, you may be kept under observation for a few hours. You can go home after the effect of the sedation wears off.
- Side effects of ultrasound scans
Since ultrasound scans don’t expose you to any harmful radiation, it doesn’t carry any side effects or risks. For internal ultrasound scans, you may face a slight discomfort or uneasiness when the probe is inserted into your body. Endoscopic Ultrasound scans, however, can be slightly painful, as the long tube is pressed further into your food pipe and other parts of the body. If you have any specific allergies (like that of latex) you should inform your doctor without fail.