What Is Sonography?

Ultrasound (also called sonography or ultrasonography) is a noninvasive imaging test. An ultrasound picture is called a sonogram. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create real-time pictures or video of internal organs or other soft tissues, such as blood vessels.

Ultrasound enables healthcare providers to “see” details of soft tissues inside your body without making any incisions (cuts). And unlike X-rays, ultrasound doesn’t use radiation. Hence,it is the safest test to be used in pregnancy.

It is used to look at several different parts of the inside of your body.

When Would You Need To Do Sonography?

View the uterus and ovaries during pregnancy and monitor the developing baby's health

Diagnose gallbladder disease

Evaluate blood flow

Guide a needle for biopsy or tumour treatment

Examine a breast lump

Check the thyroid gland

Find genital and prostate problems

Assess joint inflammation (synovitis)

Evaluate metabolic bone disease

What Should You Expect During Sonography?

Thick gel is applied on the skin over the area to be examined to ensure good sound transmission. A handheld transducer is placed on the skin and moved over the area to be evaluated.

To evaluate some body parts, the examiner inserts the transducer into the body—for example, into the vagina for better image of the uterus and ovaries or into the anus to examine the prostate gland.

The examiner sometimes attaches the transducer to a viewing tube called an endoscope and passes it into the body. This procedure is called endoscopic ultrasonography. The endoscope can be passed down the throat to view the heart (transesophageal echocardiography) or through the stomach to view the liver and other nearby organs.

After the test, most people can resume their usual activities immediately.

How Can You Prepare For Sonography?

Usually, not much preparation is required for ultrasonography.

If certain parts of the abdomen are being examined, people may be asked to refrain from eating and drinking for several hours before the test. For examination of female reproductive organs, women may be asked to drink a large amount of fluid to fill their bladder.

By When Can You Expect Your Reports?

30-60 minutes.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Ultrasounds?

Pregnancy ultrasound

Providers use prenatal ultrasound to:

  • Confirm pregnancy.
  • Check the foetus number.
  • Estimate the duration of pregnancy and the gestational age of the foetus.
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  • Check- the foetal-growth and position, foetal movements and heart rate.
  • Check for congenital conditions (birth defects) in the foetal brain, spinal cord, heart or other parts of its body.
  • Check the amount of amniotic fluid.

Most healthcare providers recommend an ultrasound at 20 weeks of pregnancy. This ultrasound also shows the biological sex of the foetus, however, it isn’t revealed.

Diagnostic ultrasound

Providers use diagnostic ultrasounds to view internal parts of your body’s anatomy and functioning. The type of diagnostic ultrasound you have depends on the details of your case.

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Examples of diagnostic ultrasounds include:

  • Abdominal Ultrasound
  • Kidney Ultrasound
  • Breast Ultrasound
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Pelvic Ultrasound
  • Transvaginal Ultrasound
  • Thyroid Ultrasound
  • Transrectal ultrasound


Ultrasound guidance for procedures

Providers sometimes use ultrasound to perform certain procedures precisely. A common use of ultrasound is to guide needle placement to sample fluid or tissue from:


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  • Tendons, Muscles, Joints
  • Cysts or fluid collections
  • Soft-tissue masses
  • Organs (liver, kidney or prostate)

Examples of other procedures that may require ultrasound guidance include:

  • Nerve Blocks
  • Confirming the placement of an IUD (intrauterine device) after insertion
  • Lesion localization procedures







Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ultrasonography Examination Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is the only test that is safe during pregnancy.

Why has my doctor recommended an ultrasound?

There are a number of reasons why your doctor may have recommended an ultrasound. Ultrasound is a safe, affordable, and non-invasive procedure that provides valuable information to your physician. Doctors use ultrasound widely to gain advanced insight for a variety of reasons including things such as abdominal, breast, thyroid, soft-tissue, heart, and vascular problems.

Are there any risks involved with ultrasound?

Unlike other types of medical imaging, such as X-ray imaging, there’s no exposure to ionizing radiation with ultrasound.