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Ultrasound

What is an ultrasound exam?
ACR Logo Ultrasound.jpgUltrasound uses sound waves to "see" inside your body. There is no radiation exposure during an ultrasound exam. Sound waves are produced by the ultrasound probe and directed into the body where they bounce off organs and tissues, creating "echoes" that are reflected back to the transducer. A computer converts the echoes to electronic signals and processes those signals, creating images that can be seen on the monitor.

What is an ultrasound exam like?
After registering at the front desk, you will be seated in the waiting room. When the technologist takes you into the room, he or she will instruct you as to whether any clothing needs to be removed for your test. You will be provided with a hospital gown or a sheet to cover up if necessary. You will lie down on the exam table and the technologist will apply a water-based gel to your skin. The gel allows the sound beam to penetrate your body as well as helping the probe to slide more comfortably over your skin. 

The technologist will take multiple images according to the standard protocol for the type of exam you are having. The technologist may ask you to change your position (e.g., turn on your side, raise your arms, etc.) or to hold your breath from time to time throughout the exam. Most exams last about half an hour, although some types of exams take less time and some types take longer. 

How do I prepare for my appointment?
The exams listed below require preparation. Ultrasound.jpgAll other types of ultrasound exams have no specific preparation requirements. In all cases you should arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow time for parking and registration. You may have to reschedule your appointment if you arrive late. 

ABDOMINAL ULTRASOUND
Adult: If your appointment is before 11:45 am, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before.  You may take medications with a small amount of water. If your appointment is after 1:15 pm, you may have a light breakfast (such as juice and toast) and then nothing to eat or drink for six hours prior to your appointment.

Child Under Age 10: Nothing to eat or drink for two hours prior to the exam, if possible. 

AORTA ULTRASOUND
If your appointment is before 11:45 am, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before. You may take medications with a small amount of water. If your appointment is after 1:15 pm, you may have a light breakfast (such as juice and toast) and then nothing to eat or drink for six hours prior to your appointment. 

BLADDER ULTRASOUND
You must have a full bladder. Drink four 8 oz. glasses of water prior to the exam. You must be finished drinking the water one hour before your scheduled appointment time. Do not empty your bladder before the exam. If your bladder is not adequately full at the time of the exam, you may have to reschedule your appointment.  

If you are on dialysis, your preparation will be explained tACR Logo Breast Ultrasound.jpgo you at the time of booking.   

OBSTETRIC ULTRASOUND
You must have a full bladder. Drink four 8 oz. glasses of water prior to the exam. You must be finished drinking the water one hour before your scheduled appointment time.  Do not empty your bladder before the exam.

PELVIC ULTRASOUND

Age 10 to Adult (including male patients): You must have a full bladder. Ninety minutes prior to your appointment, empty your bladder. Then drink one quart of water (four 8 oz. glasses) prior to the exam. You must be finished drinking the water one hour before your scheduled appointment time. Do NOT empty your bladder before the exam. If your bladder is not adequately full at the time of the exam, you may have to reschedule your appointment.

Child Under Age 10: Drink 8 – 16 oz. of water prior to the exam.

Transvaginal Ultrasounds: For women, the Radiology Department protocol for pelvic exams is to perform both transabdominal and transvaginal exams. Transvaginal ultrasound is performed very much like a gynecologic exam and involves insertion of a transducer into the vagina after the patient empties her bladder. The tip of the transducer is smaller than the standard speculum used when performing a Pap test. A protective cover is placed over the transducer, lubricated with a small amount of gel, and then inserted by the patient into the vagina. Often, the transvaginal study produces more precise images of the pelvic structures (because the transducer is physically closer to the organs) thus allowing for more accurate delineation of anatomy. It often makes the diagnosis of abnormalities more definitive and can prevent unnecessary follow-up imaging. Transvaginal ultrasound is only performed with written consent of the patient, obtained by the technologist at the time of the exam.

Registration: A member of our Pre-Registration staff may call you to pre-register you for this appointment. If contacted, this will save you time on the day of your appointment. Our Pre-Registration staff will ask you to verify your basic information, including insurance information. If you would like to call us directly to pre-register, please call 413-447-2455 one to three days prior to your appointment. The hours for the Pre-Registration Department are Monday through Friday from 8:10 a.m. until 8:15 p.m.

If you have any questions about your exam or if you wish to reschedule your exam to a new day or time, please call the Central Scheduling Department at 413-447-2451 and they will be happy to assist you. The hours for the Central Scheduling Department are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

If you would like to have an English language interpreter at the time of your appointment, please inform us at the time you book your appointment or call the Central Scheduling Department to arrange for one.

 

 

 



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