Your Ultrasound at Beaumont
Why choose Beaumont for your ultrasound?
Beaumont is committed to providing the most convenient and highest quality imaging services for patients and their physicians. We offer:
- ease of scheduling with same-day or next-day appointments
- nine convenient imaging locations with ultrasound in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties
- board certified Beaumont radiologists to interpret your results as if their life depended on it, too
- the latest generation of imaging technology that produce the clearest images
- highly trained technologists to ensure your comfort and safety
- an integrated electronic medical records system that allows your physician to see your images within minutes of the test – and provides easy access to those images to other health care providers involved in your future care
What is ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses sound waves and a computer to create images of your soft tissue structures such as muscles, blood vessels and organs. Physicians use ultrasound to diagnose a number of conditions that may not be adequately assessed using other imaging methods such as X-ray, CT or MRI.
Ultrasound is often used to:
- examine the kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, female reproductive organs, breasts, muscles, tendons, prostate, heart and its valves
- assess blood vessels for clots and areas of narrowing
- monitor a developing fetus
- detect tumors or masses
- guide radiologists during minimally invasive biopsies and interventional therapies
- provide a 3-D or 4-D view of the body part being studied
How does an ultrasound work?
Ultrasound can be performed on an outpatient basis or as a part of inpatient care. The ultrasound machine includes a hand-held device, known as a transducer, and a computer, which is usually mounted on a rolling cart.
Unlike X-rays and CT scans, ultrasound does not use radiation. Here’s how ultrasound works:
- The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves, which are sounds at a frequency too high for humans to hear.
- When the ultrasound technologist places the transducer on the body, sound waves travel painlessly through the skin and other body tissues to the structures and organs within the body.
- The sound waves bounce off these internal structures, very much like an echo off of a canyon wall. Different structures affect the speed of the waves. The waves then return to the transducer.
- The speed of the waves is collected and sent to the computer, which assembles an electronic picture of the organs or tissues that are being studied.
- A radiologist (a board certified physician who specializes in reading images) creates a report and sends the information to your physician.
What will I experience during my ultrasound at Beaumont?
At Beaumont, the ultrasound procedure generally follows this process:
- Before you have any procedure, you should discuss the risks and benefits associated with the test with your physician.
- You may be asked to remove any clothing or other objects that may interfere with the procedure. If you are asked to remove clothing, you will be given a gown to wear.
- An ultrasound technologist will position you on the exam table. Likely, you will be flat on your back. He or she will remain beside you for the duration of the exam.
- The ultrasound technologist will apply a clear gel to the area to be examined. This gel helps to conduct the sound waves by eliminating the air between the skin and the transducer; it also allows for smooth movement of the transducer over the skin.
- Using the transducer, the technologist locates the area and uses your physician wants studied different angles to capture images. In the 4-D version, images and motion, such as blood moving through a vessel, are captured by the transducer and translated to film by the computer.
- After the images have been captured, you can wipe off the gel and change back into your clothing.
- Your Beaumont doctor will have access to the images and the radiologist’s interpretation and will share the results with you.