Ultrasound is that volume of sound having waves of higher frequencies,which exceeds the maximum audible limit (20 kilohertz in normal case) for human being. This means the sound is intended not for hearing but for some other uses. Ultrasound devices that are being used now a days can produce sound with frequencies up to several gigahertz.

Why and where Ultrasound is used?

Ultrasound has been used for a number of purposes, especially to detect the objects lying in front of the machine and measuring the distances between it and the origin of sound. In medical science,Ultrasound imaging or Sonography means the use high frequency sound in order to visualize the internal organs of human bodies made of soft tissue and their possible movements. It is used in diagnosing the source of pain, bumping and infection in the internal organs. It’s instrumental in guiding the surgeons, assessing the present heart conditions, and assess the scale of damage after the heart attack. Sonography is tremendously helpful for pregnant women to have an idea about the fetus inside the womb, whether there is any abnormality or complication of it, it’s expected date of delivery.

How Ultrasound imaging is done?

The operation of Ultrasound Imaging machine is a purely technical job requiring highly trained radiologist having sound knowledge in human physiology and nosology. They have to understand what the doctor is wanting and act accordingly, conduct the sonography with utmost care of the patient, guide the patient in order to take the best possible image, and have to interpret it accurately. Sometimes the sonographer informs the patient the prevailing condition of the very organ which have been checked.

Ultrasound imaging is done in a combination of a set of instruments like- Transducer probe, Central processing unit (CPU),Transducer pulse controller,Monitor, Keyboard,Disk storage device and Printer.Ultrasound Machine

Prior to apply the ultrasound, a thin layer of clear liquid is rubbed on to the skin of the body parts to be examined. This liquid (kept warm by the operator) works as a conduit to pass the sound waves into the body and grab the echoes smoothly by evicting the air existing on the dry skin. Then the transducer probe is hold on the wet skin and moved back and forward until the best possible image is acquired.The probe passes small beats of quiet but high-frequency sound waves into the body. The sensory receiver placed in the transducer records every changes of the sound’s pitch and direction as it reflects off the internal organs, and fluids. These sound waves are readily measured and displayed in the monitor in the form of a real-time picture. Still images as well as Short video loops may be saved in storage device.

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Why Ultrasound imaging is popular?

what is ultrasound

Ultrasound imaging is popular method of diagnosis for a number of reason, such as-

  • It is widely applicable for a number of internal organs affected by a number diseases.
  • It provides a reliable and real time picture of the affected organs.
  • It enables the health care provider to guess the probable condition of the affected organs in upcoming days.
  • It’s a fast, easy and non-invasive nature of medical test. So patients can have it without minimal level of fear.
  • Ionized radiation is not used in it. So there is no chance of having cancer diseases.
  • It provides the parents with opportunity to see the image and present condition of their upcoming babies in the womb of its mom, and signals any early warning if there is any probable complication.
  • It meets the desire of the parents whether their new born child is son or daughter.

Limitations and disadvantages of Ultrasound Imaging?

  • It can’t provide a clear image in case of organs filled by air.
  • Radiologists may find it harder to image the internal organs with bulky body as the machine has to cover higher volume of tissues, which the sound waves and the resulting echoes may not penetrate easily and therefore provide a poor quality image.
  • It has difficulty in penetrating the bones and, therefore can only provide the image of outer surface of bony structures and not what lies within it (except the fetus).
  • Ultrasound imaging, or sonography, is the use of high-frequency sound waves to visualize soft tissues such as internal organs. The procedure is capable of generating real-time images that reveal movement of the tissues or blood flow, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Ultrasonography may be hard to afford for lower income people if they are not covered by the insurance policy. The cost of Ultrasound imaging ranges from $99 to $1000 depending on the nature. Fortunately, there are some hospitals which offer discounts and charity organizations to provide financial support.