Usually, when you think of an Ultrasound, you think of a pregnant woman looking lovingly at a grainy image that’s supposed to be a picture of a baby. So why would your doctor ever want to use an Ultrasound for when you’re sick? Unless maybe he or she thinks you are pregnant?

The truth is, Ultrasound technology has many more uses than just allowing expecting parents the ability to see their baby as he or she develops. Ultrasound can be used to detect illnesses, diseases, and even early warning signs for some cancers.

But what exactly is an Ultrasound? Are there risks associated with it? Keep reading to find out why you might need an Ultrasound and what that means when you’re sick and not pregnant.

What Is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is an imaging technique medical professionals use to see what is going on inside the body. It’s non-invasive, meaning there is no surgery or cutting of any kind. Instead, the Ultrasound machine sends a series of high-frequency sound waves into the body at the target area. Some of the waves are reflected off the tissue it comes in contact with. The sound waves bounced back are recorded and interpreted by the Ultrasound machine. Those interpretations are then displayed on a monitor as an image. All of this happens in real-time.

The Ultrasound machine begins to transmit, receive, record, interpret and display an image as the wand is moved around. New advancements in the technology have allowed Ultrasound machine cost to be lowered. Making the machines more affordable.

What Is it Used For?

As mentioned, Ultrasounds can be used for a variety of reasons. One of which is to detect cancer. The cancerous tissue can be detected early enough to allow surgery to remove it before it has a chance to spread.

Oftentimes, it’s difficult to explain exactly what is happening inside our bodies. Ultrasounds provide doctors the ability to see what is going on inside our bodies in a non-invasive way. This allows for the early detection of certain illnesses and diseases.

Some of the issues an Ultrasound can detect are enlarged lymph nodes, kidney or gallbladder stones, fluid around the heart, and abnormal blood vessels. Ultrasounds allow for early detection quickly without the need to restrict your diet the night before in preparation for anesthesia, as anesthesia is not used to conduct an Ultrasound.

Are There Risks?

An Ultrasound is a non-invasive technique, which means there is no need for surgery or procedures. The Ultrasound machine is wheeled into the room where the patient is, then the gel is applied to the target area and the wand, and then the wand is placed on the area.

There is no need to worry about anesthesia or restricting your diet the night before. Often, the Ultrasound will take place during the same visit the doctor requested it. The area where the wand will make contact with the skin needs to be shaved if necessary. But the nurses will do this for you. This is to ensure there are no cuts or open wounds after. Trust them, you won’t want that gel on those open wounds. Nor will that wand feel good being dragged across your wounds.

Also, Ultrasounds are even safer than X-rays when it comes to imaging. Moreover, an Ultrasound offers the ability to look at more than just the skeletal structure. The Ultrasound machine cost and safety make it an ideal choice for many diagnostic tools and equipment.

Providing the Care You Need

When it comes to our own care, we are often surprised by how little we know about our bodies. Despite how healthy a lifestyle you live, there is always a moment with a doctor where you don’t know how to answer a question.

This is where equipment like Ultrasound machines come in. Allowing doctors the ability to see what’s going on inside your body without needing surgery. The advancement in this technology has helped lower the costs of the machines, allowing for more practices to provide the service.

This helps both the patients and the doctor’s practice. Patients will receive better care, and the doctor will gain a competitive advantage. Regardless, knowing your doctor is ordering an Ultrasound and can provide one on-site helps ease your mind, and you can rest assured that you know you’re getting the best care possible.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Why Do I Need an Ultrasound When I Am Not Pregnant?," in Medicalopedia, June 29, 2019, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/7574/why-do-i-need-an-ultrasound-when-i-am-not-pregnant/].