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What is a Pediatric Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is one of the most commonly used imaging modalities in children. It is a simple procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the tissues inside a child's body. Unlike some other imaging exams, an Ultrasound uses no radiation and does not require sedation, so it is a safe option for even the youngest patients. Ultrasound may be used for a variety of screening and diagnostic reasons and, often times, may be used in conjunction with other imaging tests to get a more complete picture of what is going on inside of your child's body. At Fairfax Radiology, we do our best to provide all pediatric services in an environment that eases the fears and concerns of both anxious children and their parents.
Are most Pediatric Ultrasound examinations the same as those in adults?
Many of the Pediatric Ultrasound exams offered at our locations are child-tailored versions of traditional adult tests. These include:
- Renal Ultrasound – Used to diagnose an infection (UTI), to evaluate congenital/structural anomalies or follow-up prenatal kidney dilataion (known as hydronephrosis).
- Abdominal Ultrasound – Used to evaluate the cause of abdominal pain or abnormal lab results.
- Pelvic Ultrasound – Used to evaluate pain or possible structural abnormalities of the pelvis.
Are there any Ultrasound exams that are specific to children?
There are some Ultrasound tests that we offer that are unique to children. These include:
- Hip Ultrasound – Used to evaluate the abnormal development of the hip in children, knows as Dysplasia (performed for children up to 6 months) and/or fluid in the hip joint known as Hip Effusion (performed at any age).
- Spine Ultrasound – Used to evaluate an indentation in the skin on the lower back that is present at birth, known as Sacral Dimple or other soft tissue abnormality overlying the lower spine (ideally performed at 6 weeks of age or younger)
- Head Ultrasound – Used to evaluate the brain in a child if there is a risk of bleeding, fluid, a mass or other abnormality (performed up to 4-6 months of age, while the baby still has a soft spot on his or her head, known as a fontanel).
- Pyloric Stenosis – Used for children with new or progressive vomiting, known as emesis. This is an urgent exam, and is not offered on our usually staffed days at Reston/Herndon. If your child needs a Pyloric Stenosis, rest assured that our Radiologists will perform this exam immediately in a hospital setting.
- Bowel Ultrasound – Used to evaluate children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or other causes of bowel thickening.
Why would my physician recommend a Pediatric Ultrasound?
A Pediatric Ultrasound is a quick, safe test that enables us to see what is happening real-time inside your child's body. Unlike some other imaging tests, an Ultrasound uses no radiation, so it is safe for babies and young children.
What should my child expect during a Pediatric Ultrasound?
You will be given complete instructions before the Ultrasound. Depending on the area being examined, your child may be asked to refrain from food or drink before the exam or to drink several glasses of water. With most Ultrasound exams, warm gel is placed over the area to be tested and a probe is gently passed back and forth on your skin over the area to pick up sound waves, which are converted into an image on a screen.
May I accompany my child during his/her examination?
In most cases, a parent may accompany a child during Ultrasound exams. Siblings under the age of 18 are not allowed in the imaging rooms. Young siblings may not be left unattended in the waiting areas.
How do I schedule a Pediatric Ultrasound with Fairfax Radiology?
Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:
Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.
When are appointments offered for Pediatric Ultrasounds?