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Ultrasound imaging: Using sound to "see" inside
Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of specific parts of your body. Using a small wand-like device and a special gel, we can direct sound waves to the areas being screened. The sound waves bounce back to the device at different speeds based on the type of tissue the waves meet. The technologist reads the scan as video displayed on the monitor, captures several pictures from the images, then gives them to the radiologist for interpretation. The radiologist will send your doctor a written report within three to four business days. The technologist will not interpret your test for you.

Follow these links to learn how to prepare for your particular ultrasound:
  Abdominal
  Breast
  Renal (Kidneys)
  Lower extremities (Peripheral Venous Doppler Ultrasound)
  Pelvic (Uterus and Ovaries)
  Obstetric (Pregnancy)
  Thyroid
  Testicles / Scrotum
An abdominal ultrasound may be ordered to evaluate the aorta, pancreas, liver, bile ducts, gallbladder, kidneys, or spleen. The technologist will take multiple pictures of each organ. The exam takes about 30-45 minutes.

Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before the exam. To limit your discomfort from hunger, we try to schedule our abdominal ultrasound exams for the first half of the day. If you are diabetic or have medications that you cannot withhold, please tell us when you set your appointment so that we will schedule you as early as we can.

Please wear a two-piece outfit rather than a dress to the exam so you won't have to change clothes.

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A renal ultrasound will evaluate both your right and left kidney and your bladder. This exam takes about thirty minutes.

Please do not eat or drink from midnight the night before the exam. One hour prior to your scheduled appointment time, you should finish two to three 8oz glasses of water and do NOT use the restroom afterwards. The water makes it possible to get a clear image of your urinary bladder. Although it may be uncomfortable for you to drink this amount without using the restroom, doing so will enable us to get the best images possible for you.

Please wear a two-piece outfit rather than a dress to the exam so you won't have to change clothes.

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Peripheral venous Doppler ultrasound evaluates the veins in the leg from groin to ankle, for blood clots or DVT (deep vein thrombosis). A technologist will use the ultrasound wand as well as her hand to apply pressure to the leg, to check for clots. You will be asked to remove your pants, shoes, and socks. You can keep your undergarments on. The exam will take approximately 60 minutes for the examination of one leg, or about 90 minutes for the examination of both legs.

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A pelvic ultrasound evaluates the uterus and ovaries. There are two parts to this test. The first part of the test requires you to have a full bladder. An hour before your scheduled appointment time, you will need to finish a full 32-ounce cup of non-carbonated fluids without using the restroom afterwards. Although it may be uncomfortable for you to drink this amount without using the restroom, doing so will enable us to get the best images possible for you, and we will perform this part of the exam as quickly as possible, in only a few minutes.

What to expect at your appointment
When you arrive for your ultrasound, you will be required to undress and put on a gown. After drinking the fluid as described above, you will first have the full-bladder exam which just takes a few minutes. You will lie on the table and the technologist will perform the imaging with a special instrument which slides around on the outside of your abdomen with the aid of a special jelly. Aside from the discomfort of having your bladder full, there should be no pain from the exam itself.

Before the second part of the exam, you will be permitted to go to the restroom. The second half of the test is called endovaginal or transvaginal ultrasound, and will evaluate the uterus and ovaries. This half of the test is an internal exam, similar to a pelvic exam at your gynecologist's office. It is important in evaluating the uterus and ovaries for various abnormalities. The entire exam takes about half an hour to 45 minutes.

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A pregnancy or obstetrical (OB) ultrasound will evaluate your growing fetus inside your uterus, and may be performed at various stages of your pregnancy. These tests are not only important diagnostic evaluations, but they can be exciting for everyone involved! In order to best serve all of our patients, we ask that only one adult accompany the expecting woman for her exam. You can plan for the exam to take up to an hour, or somewhat longer if you are expecting multiples (twins or more).

The technologist will create many images for your physician’s review, and will usually provide you with an image to take home. Unfortunately at this time, we are unable to videotape our exams.

What to expect at your appointment
If you are having an OB ultrasound and you are less than 14 weeks pregnant, drink 32 ounces of non-carbonated fluids an hour before your appointment time and do not use the restroom. If you have a full bladder, the technologist will be able to obtain the most accurate images of your anatomy and of your fetus. If you are scheduled for this exam very early in your pregnancy, you may also an endovaginal or transvaginal ultrasound for further evaluation to evaluate your uterus and ovaries. This half of the test is an internal exam, similar to a pelvic exam at your gynecologist's office. The entire exam takes about half an hour to 45 minutes.

If you are more than 14 weeks pregnant, you will need to have a full bladder when you arrive. Please try to drink 32 oz of non-carbonated fluids one hour before your exam and do not use the restroom. We understand that this may be impossible to accomplish late in your pregnancy, but do your best to fill your bladder.

If you are expecting multiples (twins or more), please inform the scheduling staff so that we allow enough time to evaluate each of your fetuses!

Please wear a two-piece outfit rather than a dress to the exam so you won't have to change clothes.

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This type of ultrasound will evaluate the thyroid gland, found in the front part of your neck. There are no special preparation instructions for this test. Do wear a button-down or V-neck shirt so that you won't have to change clothes. This exam takes about 30 minutes.

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This type of ultrasound will look at your testicles and other structures within the scrotum. There are no special preparation instructions for this test. This exam takes about 30 minutes.

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A breast ultrasound may be requested in connection with a mammogram. While the mammogram is still the most accurate method of breast screening, the ultrasound can provide additional information in many situations. There are no special preparation instructions for this exam. Wear a two-piece outfit rather than a dress so that you will only have to change from the waist up. This exam takes about 30 minutes.

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If a cyst has been identified in your breast, the doctor may recommend that it be aspirated under ultrasound guidance. You will be given a small injection of numbing medication in your breast. Using the ultrasound camera, the doctor will insert a small needle into the cyst and drain the fluid. The doctor will apply pressure to your breast to prevent bleeding. After the procedure you must avoid strenuous activities for at least 24 hours. We will give you further instructions at the time of your procedure. Plan to arrive a few minutes early. You should expect to be with us for at least an hour. Please wear a two-piece outfit so that you will only have to change from the waist up.

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Before your biopsy, a member of our staff will talk to you regarding health information. You may receive special instructions at that time. If another facility has recommended the biopsy, we will review their films This will help to assure that we are looking at all of the right areas and that we allow sufficient time when we schedule your exam.

What to expect at your appointment
Plan to arrive a few minutes early. You should expect to be at our center for at least two hours for this procedure.

The technologist will use the ultrasound camera to locate the areas to be examined and mark your skin with a marker. Then she will clean your skin and drape the area with sterile towels.

The doctor will give you an injection of numbing medication and then guide the biopsy needle to the area of interest. We will take several tissue samples and send them to the pathology lab. We can generally get the results within two days. After the procedure you must avoid strenuous activities for at least 24 hours. You will be given further instructions at the time of your procedure.

Wear a two-piece outfit so that you will have to change only from the waist up.

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Downloadable forms
If you have a printer attached to your computer, you may click on these links to download printable forms to complete at home and bring to your appointment. If you do not have access to a printer or do not wish to download these forms, you will receive these same forms when you come to SIRA for your appointment.

Ultrasound Medical History

Assignments of Benefits

Authorization for Records Release

Patient Information
 
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