What’s it like to have an ultrasound? While many people have already experienced ultrasounds at least once in their lives, it’s possible you haven’t. And if you’re scheduled for one, you shouldn’t have any anxiety over the process. One reason is because you’ll have little preparation unlike other scans. The procedure itself is also quite comfortable, though can sometimes depend on which type of ultrasound you have done.
One thing you can count on: You’ll never have to worry about being in a confined space for a long time as you would with an MRI.
Preparing for an Ultrasound
Most ultrasounds have no preparation required prior to the scan, however the abdomen, pelvic and renal ultrasounds require either fasting or drinking water prior. Ultrasounds of the bladder generally work the same way, and patients are allowed to visit the bathroom as soon as the scan is over.
The Ultrasound Procedure
For those with claustrophobia, you’ll be glad to know that there’s no tight-fitting areas where you do the ultrasound. While some ultrasounds are done in cubicles, you have plenty of space around you, including being able to talk to the technologist. You’ll have to change into a hospital gown before the scan begins, and a specific area of your body may have to be exposed while you recline. Regardless, lying down for the procedure is very comfortable and usually utilizes a soft couch so you won’t have any hard surfaces.
Once you’re relaxed, the technologist will apply a clear gel over the area being scanned. Generally, this is going to be around your belly in the case of abdominal scans. Once applied, a device called a transducer (sometimes called a wand, or a microphone in Europe), is moved back and forth around the area that needs scanning. If you look up at the monitor, you’ll be able to see the images of the scan in real time.
Keep in mind that the immediate ultrasound images aren’t in high-definition, so your internal organs will look like white blobs against a dark background. Doctors have to take the ultrasound scans and study them carefully later to determine details. Regardless, some things can be seen instantaneously, including a fetus in the womb.
What Type of Ultrasounds Are Available?
Once in a while, the transducer may have to be placed inside you in order to get a proper scan. This is usually done for ultrasounds to check the bladder or ovaries and womb in women. It’s going to mean placing the transducer into the rectum in both both genders, or in the vaginal area for women.
While your body position may have to be in an uncomfortable position, it doesn’t take very long for the procedure to take place. The placement of the transducer doesn’t always hurt either, though technicians can give you something if you experience pain.
If you need an ultrasound in the Glendale, California area, contact us here at Glendale MRI Institute. We’re one of the leading imaging centers in the Southern California area because our prices are reasonable and we care about your comfort. With state-of-the-art scanning equipment, your ultrasound experience will always be remembered as a pleasant one and with results that don’t take long.