What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound is an imaging procedure that transmits high-frequency sound waves through the body. Sound waves bounce off organs and tissues inside the body and are converted into images that can be viewed on a video monitor.

What can you expect during your ultrasound exam?

When you arrive, you are positioned, usually face-up, on an exam table. A clear gel is applied to the area of the body under examination. A sonographer begins the scan by pressing a transducer—a device that sends and receives sound waves—to the gel-coated skin and gently moves the device around the targeted area.

The ultrasound images are displayed and viewed in real-time on a video monitor. Sometimes patients are asked to wait while the images are interpreted.

How can you prepare for your ultrasound exam?

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions: Some ultrasound exams require you not to eat or drink before the exam; other ultrasound exams require you to drink extra fluids prior to the exam.