Whether it's to get a good look at a developing baby or a painful gallstone, Fairfax Radiology ultrasound specialists review every study and answer every patient's questions. At our ultrasound facilities, high-resolution equipment, featuring standard and color Doppler capability, uses high-frequency sound waves-not radiation-to detect objects below the skin's surface. As with all our studies, Fairfax Radiology ultrasound specialists call or fax results to referring physicians within hours.
An Obstetrical Sonogram uses high-frequency sound waves, rather than radiation to visualize an embryo or fetus of a pregnant woman. Often a routine tool to evaluate a normal pregnancy and determine fetal development and delivery due dates, our specialized radiologists can always provide efficient and thorough evaluation of high risk and problem pregnancies. Our ultrasound facilities recognize the importance of immediate response to urgent OB evaluation, accommodating the needs of the anxious “parents” and the referring physician’s concerns and imaging requests. A compassionate and professional staff strives to enhance the pregnancy experience and provide the new family a pleasant and complete exam.
What is an Abdomen/Pelvic or Renal Sonogram?
An ultrasound of the abdomen, pelvis and/or (renal) kidneys provides in depth information about the gallbladder, liver, kidneys, bladder and female reproductive organs. A painless imaging process, sonography utilizes an imaging “probe” (transducer) that emits and detects sound waves, offering the ability to visualize internal organs and vessels. These studies require patient preparation, which is provided during the scheduling process.
A sonogram of the neck allows the evaluation of the soft tissue structures. Specifically, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are the primary reason for an ultrasound of the neck, but other soft tissue changes can also be investigated. Neck or Thyroid sonography should not be confused with a Carotid Doppler. Although the carotid artery is located in the neck, this imaging uses a more specialized ultrasound technique.
Doppler sonography is a specialized imaging process to view vascular function. It allows the radiologist to observe the action of the blood flowing through a specific vein or artery to determine if any obstruction is compromising the process. An excellent tool to identify blood clots in the legs, aortic aneurysms or plaque build up in the carotid artery, a doppler study is an invaluable exam.
An Echocardiogram is an ultrasound exam that provides moving images of the heart. The Doppler portion of the exam evaluates the blood flow through the heart valves. The test is painless and usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to perform.
Breast Ultrasound is an essential tool in identifying the composition of suspicious lumps in the breast. Breast lumps found during physical examination are usually evaluated with mammography. Often breast ultrasound is performed as a supplement to a mammography procedure. Breast ultrasound is the preferred imaging technique to identify fluid filled structures (cysts) that can be felt or diagnosed as a mass from a mammography procedure. In addition, breast ultrasound is a preferred imaging procedure for specific types of women, especially women under 30, breast-feeding or pregnant women, when conventional mammography is not a diagnostic option due to the density of the breast tissue.
Musculoskeletal abnormalities have traditionally been evaluated with x-rays, MRI and CT scans. Ultrasound is a quick painless alternative that provides information complementary to those tests. It is best suited for evaluating the soft tissues rather than the bones. Structures like muscles, tendons, ligaments and bursae are seen with excellent detail. Ultrasound is used most often for evaluating shoulder and foot pain but can be applied to any symptomatic muscle or joint. It can identify torn muscles, tendons and ligaments, as well as abnormalities such as tendinitis, bursitis, and fluid inside of joints. Ultrasound is also helpful for characterizing the nature of lumps and hernias. Many patients cannot have an MRI scan because of claustrophobia or contraindications like a pacemaker. Ultrasound is an excellent alternative in these patients.
For more information on this topic, please visit www.Radiologyinfo.org.