Ultrasound is a technique used for several decades that serves to obtain images of internal structures of our body, without the need to introduce any device or open any cavity.
It is used for the timely diagnosis of important causes of infection and obstruction, but also to check for serious injuries after a traffic accident.
In addition, ultrasound is critical in the development and monitoring of pregnancy to ensure that the baby is growing properly, but also to diagnose early any complications that are treatable.
It is necessary to emphasize that this is a safe, non-invasive imaging study and that, unlike other exams, it does not use ionizing radiation (such as that used in X-rays). In addition, it is usually performed by a specialist physician (imaging specialist) or a medical technician with a significant degree of expertise.
It is a fairly quick and convenient procedure, which uses a small transducer that moves through your skin without much trouble. It does not require any special preparation, only your collaboration in removing any foreign material (jewelry, clothes, etc.) and taking off your clothes if necessary. It does not cause pain and is not uncomfortable.
There are different versions of ultrasound, depending on what is needed. For example, a Doppler ultrasound can be used to visualize blood flow in a specific area. This is very useful for detecting cardiovascular problems, especially structural alterations of the heart and the presence of thrombosis in the lower limbs.
In addition, there are more specialized versions. The three-dimensional ultrasound can transform the data obtained through the acoustic waves, which is what the transducer collects, to obtain three-dimensional images that allow a more detailed evaluation. This type of ultrasound is widely used in obstetrics, not only to obtain specific data about possible malformations in the baby, but also to determine the sex.
When is an Ultrasound necessary?
As we mentioned before, ultrasound is a quick and simple examination, so it tends to be the best option for the diagnosis and follow-up of many diseases. However, among the most frequent requests we have:
Vesicular problems: for the diagnosis of vesicular stones, frequent in obese women over 40, ultrasound is indispensable.
Blood flow: as we mentioned, both in your heart and in the rest of the arteries, a Doppler can be critical.
Thyroid Gland: Thyroid nodules are very common. As part of the diagnosis, at least one imaging evaluation with this method is necessary.
Prostate disorders: with transrectal ultrasound.
Evaluation during pregnancy.
Bone problems Direct assessment of the abdomen and its contents after a trauma.
However, there are other cases where an ultrasound can also be requested. For example, some biopsies (taking a sample of a tissue) require "guidance". To do this, they use ultrasound in conjunction with the needle that will take the sample. The percentage of effectiveness increases considerably, as well as the quality of the sample taken.
In addition, it is used to monitor various diseases, especially those that are chronic, such as congestive heart failure. In this chronic pathology, the heart does not work properly, so it must be followed up frequently to corroborate that it is not progressing. The only way to do this is with an echocardiogram, which uses ultrasound to evaluate the condition of the heart valves and the percentage of blood that is expelled with each beat.
Even in the emergency room! Do you have any idea how important an emergency ultrasound can be after a traffic accident? It's the only way to check - first-hand - that you don't have life-threatening internal bleeding in the background. In addition, it allows us to check the state of the structures and organs of your body, which can easily be affected after a heavy impact.
An important link in the use of ultrasound is pregnancy, where it is essential to evaluate and follow up on the pregnancy during the months it is available. According to WHO, pregnancies require at least five ultrasound assessments during the 9 months. This is the minimum value, but specialists often request more assessments.
It is necessary to corroborate that your baby is healthy throughout the pregnancy, so the specialist should check frequently its maturation (evaluating each system separately), growth and other variables through the ultrasound. Besides, this is the only way to know your baby's sex and to listen to his or her small heartbeat.
For pregnant women, this is a quick assessment, which should take no more than 20 minutes unless you are in the late stages of pregnancy, where it is crucial to evaluate many factors. In this case, it may take a little longer, even about 45 minutes. As you get closer to your due date, the ultrasounds should increase in frequency. By the last month, your doctor may even request it every week.
Of course, there are specific cases where the risk is greater due to any associated illness or comorbidity, so these periods may be shortened even further. In an emergency, ultrasound is an indispensable tool that allows you to check your baby's health in a few minutes, which is crucial for taking quick and safe action.
English Doctor Barcelona: Committed to your Health
No matter what your reason for needing the ultrasound, we'll take care of it. At English Doctor Barcelona, we have a trained and skilled staff, with the best professionals willing to provide you with the best care while we perform your ultrasound with the utmost efficiency. In addition, if necessary, we can explore the cause behind it and tell you about the next steps to take.
We are your medical center, your health is our priority. At English Doctor Barcelona we understand that you deserve personalized, quality care, and that's just what we provide.