Greenville and Washington County Ultrasound

Multi-Purpose Imaging Service

Ultrasounds are widely known for their use in pregnancy to check the growth and development of a fetus, but this is only one of many roles that they play in diagnostic imaging. Radiologists use ultrasounds to examine a wide variety of the body’s internal structures, including the stomach, lungs, heart, kidneys, bladder, and other organs. It is also used in interventional procedures, such as guiding biopsy needles to their destination for tissue extraction.

Ultrasounds serve many purposes, and often used to:

  • Diagnose gallbladder disease
  • Assess the health of developing fetus and the uterus
  • Assess joint inflammation
  • Guide needle biopsies
  • Find the cause of pelvic pain or abnormal periods
  • Examine the speed and strength of blood flow (Doppler ultrasound)
  • Find the cause of nausea and abdominal pain

What Happens During an Ultrasound?

Ultrasounds are noninvasive, painless exams that require little preparation. In some cases, you may need to refrain from eating or drinking for several hours before the exam. Other exams may require you to arrive with a full bladder. Your doctor will go over the instructions for your specific exam.

A gel will be applied to your bare skin at the area that is being examined. Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images, and this gel helps the soundwaves pass from the ultrasound probe into the body. After the gel is applied, the probe is moved up and down the examination area. The probe releases soundwaves which bounce inside the body and back into the probe, which then transfers them to a computer. The computer converts the soundwaves into images which can be observed on a nearby monitor.

There should be no pain or side effects during or after the ultrasound. You can resume your normal activities as soon as the test is finished. Your doctor will discuss the results with you after the exam or within the following days.