Your health is something that should not be taken lightly, and this is why your doctor may order a high resolution ultrasound. It is used to detect a condition in areas such as the heart, bladder and kidney. You may feel nervous about going through a medical procedure, but you can reduce the anxiety by knowing what to expect at your appointment.
Before Your Appointment
There are several things you need to do to prepare for your ultrasound. It is best to wear loose clothing and leave your jewelry at home, or you may have to wear a hospital gown during the procedure.
If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication, ask your doctor if you need to wait until after the procedure to take it.
The other preparation tips depend on the area you are having scanned. A pelvic ultrasound may require you to drink several glasses of water before the exam, but you may have to fast for six hours before a gallbladder ultrasound.
During Your Appointment
When it is time for your procedure, you are going to lie down on the exam table. Your sonographer applies a gel on the skin of the target area. The gel makes it easier for your doctor to get an accurate reading because it prevents air pockets.
The procedure is done using a piece called a transducer, which transmits inaudible sound waves that create images of the organ or soft tissue. It can take up to one hour to complete your ultrasound, but this depends on the area that is being scanned.
After The Appointment
There may be a slight tenderness in the area that is being scanned, but the tenderness is usually gone within a few hours of the procedure. The sonographer shows you the images and sends the information over to your doctor for a diagnosis. Your doctor talks to you about the results of the ultrasound and your possible treatment options.
You may experience a little discomfort during your ultrasound, but it is a painless procedure that does not use any radiation.