Ultrasonography, also called as Ultrasound or USG or 2D scanning is a diagnostic test that transmits high-frequency sound waves through body tissues. The echoes are recorded and transformed into images of the internal structures of the body.

Ultrasound scan helps to diagnose various diseases and conditions of the body.

Ultrasound is used to see images of soft tissue structures of the body. It is widely used to see abdominal structures, such as gall bladder, liver, pancreas, kidneys, female reproductive organs — and even baby in the womb. Ultrasound is also used to see any soft tissue structures in the body. It has limited use to visualise bones and air containing structures, such as lungs and intestinal gas shadows.

Overview of the Ultrasound scan:

  • The preparation for this test will depend on the type of ultrasound test your doctor has ordered. Some preparation is required for abdomen & pelvis scan, such as drinking atleast 3-4 cups of water before the test to obtain better images of the pelvis, especially in females. Other preparation may include eating a fat-free dinner the night before the test, especially to evaluate gall bladder diseases, for example to see stones.
  • You are requested to bring the doctor referral form and any prior ultrasound scan report or other health records.
  • Your ultrasound test is performed and interpreted by a certified specially trained radiologist or sonologist.
  • You may be asked to change into a hospital gown, especially for Breast scan and lower extremity studies.
  • The ultrasound test usually takes 5min to 20 minutes to complete depending upon the test requested.
  • A typed report will be issued to the patient within 30min of completing the scan. Digital report will be issued on request.
  • Note: The ultrasound machines are connected to large overhead TV screens so that you can watch the examination in comfort.

Types of scans

I. Pregnancy scans

Early pregnancy scan/viability scan
Early pregnancy scan from 6 to 14 weeks

  • This is an ultrasound examination that is usually carried out transabdominally or vaginally at 5-10 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Your urine bladder to be filled to perform this scan through abdomen approach.
  • The aims of this scan is to confirm the pregnancy, determine the number of embryos present and whether the pregnancy is progressing normally inside the uterus.
  • This scan is useful for women who are experiencing pain or bleeding in the pregnancy and those who have had previous miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies.

NT Scan /Nuchal scan
Nuchal Translucency (NT) ultrasound scan

  • This scan is carried out from 11 weeks 3 days to 13 weeks 6 days of pregnancy.
  • The scan is usually performed transabdominally, but in a few cases it may be necessary to do the examination transvaginally.
  • Your urine bladder to be filled to perform this scan through abdomen approach.
  • This scan is aimed to assess the risks of Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.

Anomaly scan/Mid trimester scan
Anomaly scan or Mid trimester scan during pregnancy

  • This is a detailed scan done between 18-24 weeks of pregnancy.
  • During the scan, each part of the fetal body is examined. Special attention is paid to the brain, face, spine, heart, stomach, bowel, kidneys and limbs.
  • If any abnormalities are detected the significance of the findings will be discussed and the couple will be given the opportunity to have further counselling with experts.

Note: All the fetal structures may not be visualized at the time of scan due to technical factors, biological factors, position of the baby and liquor volume in the uterus. Minor anomalies may be missed because of the subtle findings.

Fetal Echocardiogram/ Cardiac scan
Enquire add-on Scans & Labs for fetal echocardiography

  • This is a specialisedfocussed scan of the fetal heart and its connections.
  • It is recommended for women with family history of congenital heart abnormalities, those with diabetes mellitus and for those pregnancies as result of IVF.
  • The scan is done between 22 weeks -24 weeks for better assessment of structures.

Biophysical profile scan(BPS) /Interval growth scan/ Fetal wellbeing scan
Fetal biophysical profile scan (BPP or BPS)

  • This scan is usually carried at about 32 weeks of pregnancy.
  • This study aims to determine the growth and health of the fetus.

Note: As per government order, gender detection and disclosure of the fetus sex is strictly prohibited in our centre.

II. Non Pregnancy scans

Ultrasound scan can be done for any organ of the body, A few commonly performed studies are as follows:

  • Abdomen & Pelvis scan

Non pregnancy scan at 4 weeks (First Trimester)

  • scan for female
  • KUB scan to assess Kidneys and urinary bladder
  • Thyroid scan
  • Breast scan
  • Extremity scan, small parts study.
  • Sonofistulogram for perianal fistulas etc.,

What are the harmful effects of Ultrasound scan?

Studies have shown that ultrasound is not hazardous. As such there are no harmful side effects, since ultrasound does not use any radiation.

Can ultrasound detect all the diseases?

Yes. Some minor findings may be missed unintentionally. The reason for missed findings are many, such as deep seated abnormalities, subtle findings, gas filled intestine loops, expertise of the doctor.etc.,. It is recommended to correlate ultrasound findings clinically and with other medical tests.

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