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Ultrasound examination

What is an ultrasound examination?

Ultrasound is a quick, safe, largely side-effect-free and cost-effective examination method. It is technically called sonography. A doctor can use them to assess many different areas of the body and organs. The examination can be carried out on an outpatient basis in the doctor's office or in clinics. A hospital stay is usually not necessary.

When do you do an ultrasound examination?

The Sonography is used in medicine for the diagnosis and follow-up of various diseases as well as for live control of technically difficult procedures. Common areas of application include:

  • Examination of the abdominal organs (abdominal sonography), e.g. the kidneys
  • Sonography of the thyroid
  • Sonography of the thyroid gland
  • Ultrasound of the heart (echocardiography)
  • Ultrasound of the vessels, e.g. the carotid arteries or leg veins
  • Sonography of the female breast (Mammary sonography)
  • gynecological ultrasound, e.g. to assess the uterus, ovaries and during pregnancy
  • ultrasound of the joints, e.g. of the hip joint

What is the process of an ultrasound examination?

Depending on which organs are to be assessed in the practice, the ultrasound examination takes place while sitting, standing or lying down (prone or side position).

First, a doctor performs an examination or a doctor applies an ultrasound gel to the transducer and often also the affected area of ​​skin so that even contact is made between the transducer and the surface of the body. The ultrasound device sends ultrasound waves into the tissue via the transducer. Patients don't feel any of this. The ultrasound waves are reflected differently by the tissue depending on its structure, i.e. reflected back.

The transducer picks up these reflected waves again, and the ultrasound machine can calculate an image from this. This is now displayed to the doctor and patient on the monitor. The doctor often shows and explains the findings to the patient directly on the screen. The doctor can print out individual, particularly meaningful images directly from the ultrasound machine.

What do I have to pay attention to after an ultrasound examination?

After the examination, the doctor gives you a cloth to wipe off the ultrasound gel. If it has come into contact with your clothing, you don't have to worry: the gels commonly used today contain a lot of water and generally do not leave any permanent stains on clothing. There are no special precautions regarding diet, driving or similar for the time after the ultrasound.