What is Ultrasound and how does it work?
Is ultrasound dangerous?
Ultrasound has been around for about 60 years now and studies have shown that it is a safe technique with no harmful side effects. Ultrasound imaging is not an X-ray as it uses sound waves and not ionizing radiation. Diagnostic ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses low-power sound waves. There are no known examples of tissue damage from conventional ultrasound imaging. Diagnostic ultrasound and/or sonography is considered a safe, non-invasive procedure by most every medical community. in part, because it uses low-power sound waves. No major medical source has proven any direct risks from a diagnostic ultrasound exam harmful enough to prevent its use. An ultrasound will not interact or cause any harm to a pacemaker.
Who will perform my scan?
Scans will be performed by an accredited medical sonographer who is fully qualified with suitable experience in performing the studies. A sonographer is a highly skilled medical imaging professional who uses ultrasound to perform specialised diagnostic examinations. The sonographer is legally required to scan the region requested on the referral from physician only. Ultrasound imaging is highly operator-dependent, and the outcome of a sonographic examination is dependent on the medical knowledge as well as the technical skills of the sonographer. During an ultrasound examination a sonographer will make real-time decisions to tailor the examination based on referral information, clinical context and the breadth of investigation required and selectively record anatomical images and physiological information that will form the basis of the clinical diagnosis A sonographer is trained in a post graduate level, specially to accurately perform an ultrasound examination and licensed for proper use of imaging equipment in a safe way. Sonographers understand ultrasound physics, cross sectional anatomy, physiology and pathology. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyse and modify the scan to optimize the information in the image. Because of the high levels of decisional latitude and diagnostic input, sonographers have a high degree of responsibility in the diagnostic process. They have core knowledge and skills in the applied anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, application and operation of ultrasound imaging systems, ultrasound image recognition and comprehension, patient assessment, care and communication, critical thinking skills, ultrasound physics, occupational health and safety, infection control and quality assurance. Australian sonographers must be accredited by the Australian Sonographers Accreditation Registry (ASAR) and regularly monitored by continuing professional education.
Sonographer may ask to hold your breath – this is very important because when you breathe the organs go up and down in the tummy. When you hold your breath, the organs stay still allowing a better view of them.