Murray Calloway County Hospital

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Understanding Ultrasound

What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves that you can't hear to "see" the internal organs in your body.
An ultrasound examination uses no x-rays; it is generally painless and non-invasive (there is nothing injected into your body). There are no known dangers or side effects associated with the use of ultrasonography. It images soft tissue densities and discriminates them well; detects tumors (cystic vs. solid) and lesions, gallstones, and kidney stones; and images the flow of blood in the major arteries.

The individual who will be performing the ultrasound study on you is known as a sonographer. The Sonographers will assist you onto the examination table. At this time, transmission gel will be applied to the area of your body being imaged. The only sensation you will have is a slight pressure and movement of the transducer, a hand-held, rod-like microphone device, over the part of the body being imaged. The transducer sends a signal to a computer that processes the data and produces the ultrasound image.

You may be asked to hold your breath or change positions at times. The length of time for the exam varies from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the study. The images are stored on x-ray film. A radiologist (a physician who specializes in ultrasound and x-ray) will interpret your exam and a written report will be sent to your personal physician who ordered the exam.

Sonographers do not interpret exams. We ask that you not question the Sonographers for an opinion of your study.

Preparing for Your Ultrasound Exam
Each ultrasound exam has required preparations. The most frequently performed exams with their preps are listed. If instructions are not listed, your physician will inform you about your exam or you may call Murray Hospital's Radiology Department at (270) 762-1919.

Abdomen
Clear liquids for dinner the night before. No carbonated beverages. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before. The exam takes 30 to 45 minutes.

Aorta
Same prep as abdomen. The exam takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Gallbladder
Same prep as abdomen. The exam takes 20-40 minutes.

Obstetrical
A full bladder is necessary. Drink 32 ounces of liquid one hour before your scheduled exam time and do not empty your bladder. During the first three months of pregnancy, a vaginal ultrasound is also performed (see Pelvis below). The exam takes 45 to 60 minutes.

Pelvis
A full bladder is necessary. Drink 32 ounces of liquid one hour before your scheduled exam time and do not empty your bladder. Our routine exam includes two studies, one performed externally and one with a vaginal probe. The vaginal probe is slightly larger than a tampon. This probe is inserted into the vagina with very little, if any, discomfort. Both exams take 30 to 45 minutes.

Important Information
Your ultrasound exam must be ordered by a physician. The physician's office will make the appointment for you with our department. If you need to cancel your appointment, please call us at (270) 762-1921 so that time can be used for another patient.

If you have questions about your bill, the business office phone number is (270) 762-1296. The radiologist's bill is separate from the hospital's. If you have questions regarding the radiologist's bill, please call (270) 762-1805.

You must be registered in the hospital's computer system before the exam can be performed. You should first report to registration thirty minutes before your scheduled exam. If you are pre registered, you may go directly to the radiology department waiting room on the  Hospital's first floor.

 
  MCCH

Murray-Calloway County Hospital
803 Poplar Street
Murray, KY  42071
(270) 762-1100

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