During an ultrasound procedure, the patient lies down on an examination table and gel is applied to the skin at the area to be imaged. The radiologist then moves a transducer, a special handheld instrument, across this area. The transducer enables sound waves to be transmitted back and forth between the body and the device. The transducer then relays this information to a computer.
The examination usually takes from 10-30 minutes to complete.
Preparing for an ultrasound varies, depending on the objective of the imaging. While many ultrasounds require no preparation whatsoever, some may require fasting for six hours before the test. In addition, patients undergoing ultrasounds of the uterus, ovaries or prostate are required to arrive with a full bladder, as this enables the organs to be viewed more easily.
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