Ultrasound imaging is an extremely useful tool, in that, it can be used to observe the hard-to-see places of our bodies. The most known use of ultrasound imaging is to see within the stomachs of to-be mothers. By using this high-level technology ultrasonographers can look inside the belly and observe how the fetus is developing and growing. The ability to use an ultrasound also provides mothers and fathers high-resolution imaging of their baby, in order to see them for the first time. However, ultrasound imaging also allows sonographers to see if anything is seemingly underdeveloped in the fetus. For example, some imaging devices can allow you to see the brain of a fetus. This capability allows physicians to determine if the baby is cranially developing and whether there may be certain developmental issues after birth.
It is obvious that ultrasound technology is valuable and useful, but ultrasound technology can be utilized for so many other things than just fetal imaging. In fact, there is a whole list of uses that can serve beneficial to your health and the quality of your medical care:
- Blood vessels
It is possible to develop blockages in your blood vessels. This can be very dangerous and could result in strokes, aneurysms, and death. If you have a genetic history of being prone to blockages, getting imaging done can be beneficial. When you come into an imaging center, the ultrasound can detect blockages and blood clots that obviously are not apparent to the eye. When you are getting your circulatory system imaged, an ultrasonographer will perform a Doppler Ultrasound Study. This technique evaluates blood flow through blood vessels and is able to locate blockages or the potential of a blockage in the future.
Ultrasound imaging of the abdomen is wide-ranging, in that, it includes many different parts of the body and takes images of different functions. For example, one part of the abdomen that can be examined is the liver. The liver is an organ of the body that is responsible for protein production for blood clotting and plays a central role in bile creation. If your liver is damaged in any way, clots can form and issues with bile in the body can occur.
Ultrasound imaging can also look in parts of your body, such as the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an extremely important part of the body, in that, it acts as a sort of reservoir for bile in the body. Bile, or wastes, move from the liver to the gallbladder where they are stored. The gallbladder also acts as a tool to break down fats and wastes in the stomach. According to Healthline’s Body Maps, the gallbladder is used when food enters the small intestine. When this occurs, a hormone called cholecystokinin is released, signaling the gallbladder to contract and secrete bile into the small intestine through the common bile duct. The bile is used to then break down fats. The gallbladder is very helpful in the digestive process, however, no mechanism is without flaws. In some instances, gallstones can form in the gallbladder due to cholesterol, bilirubin, or bile salts building up into small, hard deposits. The bile, in turn, crystallizes and grows over time. Gallstones are hard to detect because it is rare patients feel symptoms until the stones reach obstructive sizes. When the gallstones become too big they will block bile ducts and cause disruption in the gallbladder, as well as the small intestine. If the gallstones are large enough, they can be removed through surgery, however, physicians must determine how big the stones are through imaging. That is why ultrasound technology is so important in more instances that just fetal imaging! Ultrasound provides physicians with an opportunity to analyze and determine the size of gallstones in order to accurately perform surgeries.
Spleen, Pancreas, Kidneys
Much like the other organs in the body, if one fails, they all fail. In many instances, if there is one issue with one organ, the others will follow suit, as they all rely on each other to work effectively. Ultrasound imaging is a valuable innovation because it provides non-surgical, non-invasive means to find answers about the body. If for some reason one organ is not performing as it should be, ultrasonographers can detect the issue and provide a physician with the information to perform a knowledgable surgery. In the cases of the spleen, pancreas, and the kidneys, if any one of these organs fail it can be deadly. Any nicks or holes in any one of these organs can mean an entire “shut-down” of the whole body. With ultrasound technology, patients can be given concrete information about their bodies without risking their lives to go under anesthesia.
In cases of difficulties urinating, ultrasound imaging is a very valuable tool. Only with ultrasounds can sound wave technology record in real time the organs and part of the body. When a patient is having difficulty urinating or day-time leaks, this is a sign that something is wrong with the bladder. By using ultrasound imaging, physicians can know with certainty the overall well being of the system. For example, when an ultrasound is conducted on the bladder, an ultrasonographer will be able to image the size of the bladder, the amount of liquid in the bladder, the thickness of the bladder walls, and the presence of blockages.
Ultrasound technology is an amazing advancement in medicine and has helped millions of people learn about their bodies. Having an ultrasound procedure is non-invasive and does not give off radiation. It is a safe way to determine information about your body so that physicians can accurately perform surgeries that will save your life. If you are currently feeling under the weather, are in need of an ultrasound image performed, or just need an image center to keep in mind for the future, TouchstoneMedical Imaging is here to serve you! We are an imaging center with incredibly gifted ultrasonographers in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida, and Arkansas. If you have any imaging needs, contact us! One of our representatives will be happy to assist you with your questions or scheduling needs.