Ultrasound diagnostics (ultrasound) is a widely used method for diagnosing diseases of internal organs using ultrasonic waves – mechanical high-frequency vibrations with a short long wavelength.
Currently, ultrasound diagnostics is used everywhere. This type of study has the least effect on the body, therefore it is approved for use during pregnancy, in children, the elderly and seriously ill patients.
Ultrasound: how does it work?
Ultrasound examination is carried out using sound waves, which are formed on a special source inside the ultrasound machine. Ultrasound is not felt by the body and is not picked up by the ear.
These vibrations penetrate into the investigated area of the body. Depending on the density, various organs and formations resist the penetration of ultrasound in different ways. Part of the oscillations is reflected back and captured by a special ultrasonic sensor.
Next, the received signal is automatically processed on the computer, after which the image of the organ is formed before the eyes of the researcher.
Modern ultrasound machines provide an opportunity to study the image of an organ in three-dimensional mode, when the picture obtained during the study looks more familiar and natural.
There is also a 4D ultrasound where time is an additional dimension. In this mode, you can view an image of an organ over time, such as fetal movement.
When should an ultrasound be done?
Ultrasound examination allows us to examine the structure of internal organs, to detect neoplasms, cavities and cysts, various inclusions (stones, foreign bodies, etc.)
Using ultrasound, you can measure the size of internal organs, the diameter of blood vessels, the presence of constrictions or expansions. Ultrasound diagnostics allows you to calculate the speed of blood flow in the main vessels.
Ultrasound examination greatly facilitates the diagnosis of urinary and cholelithiasis. In a few minutes of the study, you can determine the presence of stones in the organ, their size, shape, number.
The ultrasound examination procedure is extremely important for those suffering from hypertension, angina pectoris and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels. In the process of diagnosis, the size and function of the heart, the absence or presence of defects, blood clots are determined. Ultrasound can be used to identify an infarct or aneurysm.
Read more: Ultrasound for liver disease
Ultrasound of the liver and pancreas is an indispensable tool in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases: pancreatitis, hepatitis, biliary dyskinesia.
Ultrasound of the prostate gland allows you to detect prostate hypertrophy, neoplasms in it in the early stages.
An ultrasound of the brain is often used – an echoencephalogram, during which the doctor gets an idea about the state of brain structures, the amount of cerebral fluid, the presence of anomalies, tumors, and so on.
Ultrasound examination during pregnancy is of great importance, when radiation during an X-ray examination is highly undesirable. By studying the structure of the fetus, it is possible to identify various disorders in the early stages. In addition, ultrasound plays an important role at the present stage in determining the gestational age, choosing the tactics of pregnancy and childbirth.
The impact of ultrasound on health
At the moment, there are no confirmed data on the adverse effects of ultrasound diagnostics on health.. However, even this study cannot be applied unnecessarily. I would especially like to warn against excessive curiosity of pregnant women who, without indications, decide on repeated examination procedures in order to get the “first photo” of the baby or clarify its gender and facial features.
Ultrasonic waves penetrate deep into tissues, exerting their effect at the level of cells and even molecules. Some pregnant women during the study feel discomfort in the uterus, more active fetal movement, a feeling of anxiety.
No medical intervention, even the most harmless, can be done without the need. Therefore, before undergoing an ultrasound diagnostic procedure, determine with your doctor why you decide on this study and what you want to get from it.