Before going for your ultrasound at Dominion Imaging in Richmond, there are a few things you’ll want to know. An ultrasound is a relatively simple test, but it can become the catalyst for ensuring you receive the care you need. Your doctor may have ordered this test to examine your organs or diagnose a condition. Where you go to have your ultrasound done and, most importantly, the Radiologist who reads your results can make all the difference.
What exactly is an ultrasound?
Ultrasound, otherwise known as ultrasound scanning or sonography, is one of the most common forms of medical imaging.
An ultrasound machine uses high-frequency sound waves to take pictures of the inside of the body. These aren’t just regular sound waves that we can hear. Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound pulses that go into the body to capture images that help diagnose a variety of conditions or injuries. The images taken during an ultrasound examination can be recorded digitally or on film.
There are many different kinds of ultrasounds like vascular, abdominal, and thyroid — just to name a few.
Ultrasound exams are:
- Minimal discomfort
Terms you’ll want to know
Ultrasound imaging – The use of high-frequency sound waves to take images of the body. Also known as ultrasound scanning or sonography.
Sonographer – A licensed technologist who is trained to conduct ultrasound exams.
Transducer – A small device connected to the ultrasound machine. A sonographer uses a transducer to take the images prescribed by your referring physician.
Radiologist – A medical doctor who is trained in reading and interpreting ultrasound images.
What can I expect?
You might experience a little discomfort if the area is tender; but generally, ultrasounds are non-invasive and quick.
During your ultrasound, you may be asked to lie down on an examination table. A medical ultrasound gel will be applied to the area being examined to create a bond between your skin and the ultrasound transducer. Your sonographer will gently press the transducer along the area to capture the images you need for your diagnosis. A special computer will capture these pictures and record measurements.
How should I prepare?
Most ultrasounds do not require any preparation. When you call to schedule your exam, you may be given some instructions. For example:
- Certain exams require fasting from eating or drinking for up to six hours before your appointment.
- Ultrasounds of the pelvic area may require a full bladder. Depending on your age, you will be asked to drink 8 to 32 ounces of fluids an hour before your appointment.
- You may be asked to remove jewelry or to change into a gown.
In general, you can resume your normal activities as soon as your exam is complete.
What if the ultrasound is for my child?
If your child needs to be scheduled for an ultrasound for the first time, they could be feeling somewhat nervous. Being shy of doctors is normal and understandable!
Advise your child that an ultrasound machine is a special tool that’s like a microphone and camera all-in-one and that this tool helps doctors see inside the body so that they can help keep us healthy. The best part is that your child will get a chance to see the pictures on the computer screen as they are being taken.
You can reassure your child that they are not in any danger, and ask your sonographer to test the transducer on you first, so your child can see that they have nothing to fear.
Why your Radiologist is important.
Getting your ultrasound done by experts can make an impact on your care. It’s crucial to find a radiology practice with Board Certified Radiologists who are Fellowship Trained in the particular subspecialty you need. When a highly-skilled specialist interprets your images, you’ll have greater peace of mind knowing that your results are accurate.
Having a Radiologist who is accessible and available to your doctor is also vital. Look for a Radiologist who is available to consult with your referring physicians to provide insights to manage your care.
Getting your Ultrasound at Dominion Imaging.
At Dominion Imaging, you’ll have access to on-site Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Radiologists without having to step foot in a hospital.
Dominion Imaging is an outpatient medical facility specifically dedicated to X-ray and ultrasound imaging. That means more experts and less wait time to get what you need.
Ultrasounds are provided by appointment during all regular office hours. Dominion Imaging is conveniently located in the West End at 6600 West Broad St., Suite 200 Richmond, VA 23230. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. To schedule your ultrasound at Dominion Imaging, call (804) 486-4635.