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Ultrasound

Redwood Area HospitalRedwood Area Hospital provides a variety of ultrasound procedures including, abdominal, echocardiogram, pregnancy, and vascular ultrasounds .  Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a picture; no radiation or x-rays are necessary.

During your ultrasound exam, a registered sonographer will move a hand-held device over your skin. Pictures will appear on a video screen and several images and measurements will be recorded.

Each ultrasound exam requires different preparation. Click on the links above to learn about what to expect for your ultrasound procedure.

Ultrasounds are performed during business hours. After your appointment your scans will be sent to a radiologist at Suburban Radiology and to your referring physician. Your physician will contact you to discuss your ultrasound results.

Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound is used to look for problems related to the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys or aorta (the large blood vessel coming from your heart). The exam can detect many abnormalities including enlargements, cysts, tumors or stones.

Exam preparation: Before your ultrasound, you should not eat or drink after midnight. You may take any medication you need with a small amount of water.

Notify a member of the imaging staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you could be pregnant.

During the exam: A registered sonographer will move a hand-held device over your skin. Pictures will appear on a video screen and several images and measurements will be recorded. You may be asked to hold your breath or move into different positions on the exam table. The exam will take approximately 30-45 minutes.

After your exam: Your scans will be sent to a radiologist at Suburban Radiology and to your referring physician. Your physician will contact you to discuss your ultrasound results.

Pregnancy Ultrasound

A pregnancy ultrasound is performed to provide important information about the mother and child. Ultrasound is used to establish the age, position, development and number of fetuses. The exam can also detect certain abnormalities.

Exam preparation: You will be asked to drink 32 ounces of water one hour before the examination if your baby is less than 20 weeks gestation. If your baby is 20 weeks gestation or over, please drink 24 ounces of water one hour before your examination. To obtain the best picture possible, a full bladder is required for the examination. You may eat normally.

During the exam: A registered sonographer will move a hand-held device over your abdomen. In very early pregnancy a trans-vaginal ultrasound may also be needed to obtain necessary images. Pictures of your baby will appear on a video screen and several images and measurements will be recorded. A pregnancy ultrasound takes approximately 30-60 minutes to complete.

After your exam: Your scans will be sent to a radiologist at Suburban Radiology and to your referring physician. Your physician will contact you to discuss your ultrasound results.

Vascular Ultrasound

A vascular ultrasound produces a picture or graph of blood as it flows through a blood vessel.  A vascular ultrasound procedure is performed to help evaluate blood flow through the major arteries and veins of the arms, legs, abdomen and neck. It can also reveal blood clots in these vessels. Your physician designates the area to be scanned.

Exam preparation: Before a vascular ultrasound exam, you should have nothing to eat or drink for eight hours if your exam involves the abdomen. Other vascular ultrasounds require no preparation.

During the exam: A registered sonographer will move a hand-held device over your skin to show the designated blood vessels. You may hear sounds that represent blood flow through those vessels. The exam will take approximately 30-60 minutes

After your exam: Your scans will be sent to a radiologist at Suburban Radiology and to your referring physician. Your physician will contact you to discuss your ultrasound results.

Echocardiogram

An Echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves, or echos, to produce images of your heart. The test can also look at how the valves are functioning and the speed and direction that blood flows through the chambers of the heart. Views of the heart are obtained by moving the transducer to different locations on your chest or abdominal wall.

Exam preparation: No special preparation is needed for an echocardiogram. You will need to remove any jewelry and clothes above your waist (you may be allowed to keep on your underwear if it does not interfere with the test). You may be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the test.

During the exam: You may be required to have an injection of a contrast material that will provide a better image of the heart (the contrast generally has very few adverse effects.) The radiologist and/or your doctor will determine if the contrast material is necessary based on your personal history.

You will lie on your back or on your left side during the exam. Electrodes will be taped to your arms and legs to record your heart rate during the test. A registered sonographer will press a hand-held device firmly to your chest with small movements back and forth. Images of your heart will appear on a video screen and several images and measurements will be recorded. The test usually takes 60 minutes.

After your exam: Your scans will be sent to a Cardiologist or specialist for reading and to your referring physician. Your physician will contact you to discuss your ultrasound results.