An ultrasound provides detailed pictures or videos of your organs and soft tissues with the help of sound waves. Ultrasound doesn’t involve any radiation; the sound waves are harmless. Your care team may use the images to help diagnose injuries and diseases in nearly any part of the body.
What is ultrasound imaging?
Also called sonography, diagnostic ultrasound is a method of imaging that uses high-frequency sound waves to create your body structures. Ultrasound images can provide important information that helps your doctor diagnose certain injuries or health conditions. Sometimes, your doctor may request an ultrasound in order to rule out the possibility of an underlying injury or health condition.
Most ultrasound imaging is done with the help of an external device. However, The University of Kansas Health System is 1 of only 2 facilities in the Kansas City area to offer endoscopic ultrasound, a type of ultrasound that requires the insertion of a tiny camera on the end of a lighted tube to create images of the gastrointestinal tract.
Who can have an ultrasound?
Since it doesn't involve any radiation, ultrasound is considered a form of imaging that's very safe and can be used for nearly anyone. Not every health condition can be diagnosed with an ultrasound – some are better identified with a different type of imaging test, like an X-ray or an MRI. Your doctor will recommend the imaging test they feel is best able to provide the most accurate diagnosis or assessment.
What does an ultrasound diagnose?
Doctors can use ultrasound imaging to diagnose a wide variety of possible health conditions, particularly those that affect the organs and soft tissues of the body. An endoscopic ultrasound can even provide detailed images of the gastrointestinal tract and surrounding organs.
Endoscopic ultrasound can be used as an alternative or complement to high-resolution manometry (HRM) to evaluate for trouble swallowing. It can also be used to evaluate patients for:
- Esophageal dysphagia
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Physicians may also use EndoFLIP during POEM or anti-reflux surgery.
What are the risks of ultrasound?
There are no known risks associated with diagnostic ultrasound, although it does have limitations in terms of the level of imaging that's possible. Ultrasound is best used for soft organs and tissue rather than bone or areas that are filled with air, like the lungs.
Before your ultrasound
It is important to follow instructions or we may have to schedule a new appointment.
- If you are having an ultrasound of your abdomen, you may need to stop eating or drinking a few hours before your exam.
- If you are having an ultrasound of your pelvic area, you may need to arrive with a full bladder.
- You may take any normal daily medicines.
- Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled exam.
- Let your care team know if you have had an ultrasound on the same part of your body before so we can compare old images to new ones.
What to expect during your ultrasound
Recovery and results for your ultrasound
An ultrasound is an outpatient procedure, so you should be able to return to your normal daily routine right after your appointment. Your doctor will contact you as soon as your results are available to review.
Why choose us for an ultrasound
Our radiologists are board-certified, highly experienced physicians dedicated to their specialties. All members of our imaging staff are credentialed by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.