Ultrasound Imaging

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We are proud to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services in Pasadena and Glendora, California, and surrounding counties.

Ultrasound Preparations Explained by Hill Medical

How should I prepare for Ultrasound?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound imaging exam. Other preparation depends on the type of examination you will have. For some scans you may be instructed not to eat or drink for as many as 12 hours before your appointment. For others you may be asked to drink up to six glasses of water two hours prior to your ultrasound exam and avoid urinating so that your bladder is full when the scan begins.

The following preparatory information will be helpful depending on the location of the study:

  • Abdomen - Do not eat or drink anything for the 6 hours prior to your exam.
  • Pelvic/OB - A full bladder is required. Drink four to six 8 oz. glasses of water and finish drinking 1 hour before your exam. Do not empty your bladder. Example: Your appointment is for 9:00 am, you should have finished drinking by 8:00 am.
  • Renal - 1 hour prior to your exam you must drink 32 oz of water. Do not urinate.

How does the Ultrasound procedure work?

Ultrasound imaging is based on the same principles involved in the sonar used by bats, ships at sea and anglers with fish detectors. As the sound passes through the body, echoes are produced that can be used to identify how far away an object is, how large it is, its shape and its consistency (fluid, solid or mixed).

The ultrasound transducer that is used to scan the body functions as both a generator of sound (like a speaker) and a detector (like a microphone). When the transducer is pressed against the skin it directs inaudible, high-frequency sound waves into the body. As the sound echoes from the body's fluids and tissues the transducer records the strength and character of the reflected waves. With Doppler ultrasound the microphone captures and records tiny changes in the sound wave's pitch and direction of the sound. These echoes are instantly measured and displayed by a computer, which in turn creates a real-time picture on the monitor. The "live" images of the examination are "frozen" to capture a still image for the radiologists to review.


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