An abdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive way to evaluate the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, kidneys, spleen, and abdominal blood vessels. A physician may order an abdominal ultrasound for a variety of reasons. Some of the symptoms or conditions that might be a reason to undergo an abdominal ultrasound include:
RENAL (KIDNEY) ULTRASOUND
A kidney ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic exam that produces images, which are used to assess the size, shape, and location of the kidneys. Ultrasound may also be used to assess blood flow to the kidneys. Ultrasound can detect cysts, tumors, abscesses, obstructions, fluid collection, and infection within or around the kidneys. Calculi (stones) of the kidneys and ureters may also be detected by ultrasound.
A thyroid ultrasound examines the gland that is located centrally in the lower neck. It is used to assess the size of the gland and also if there are nodules or lesions within the gland.
Some indications for thyroid ultrasound are as follows:
To confirm presence of a thyroid nodule when physical examination is equivocal.
To characterize a thyroid nodule(s), i.e. to measure the dimensions accurately and to identify internal structure and vascularization.
To differentiate between thyroid nodules and other cervical masses
To detect post-operative residual or recurrent tumor in thyroid bed or metastases to neck lymph nodes.
A testicular (scrotal) ultrasound is a safe, non-invasive examination that looks specifically at the testicles, epididymis, spermatic cord, venous plexus and scrotal wall. Blood flow to the testicles is also evaluated.
A testicular ultrasound is used to investigate a range of problems with the scrotum, testicles, or epididymis. A doctor may recommend a testicular ultrasound if a person has an injury, pain, or swelling in the testicles or infection.
Ultrasound can also be used to asses causes of infertility and locate and undefended testicle.
A breast ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging technique that relies on sound waves and is often used in conjunction with a diagnostic mammogram where an abnormality, like a lump or mass, was detected.
Breast ultrasounds can determine if a lump or mass is fluid-filled or solid. Mammograms do not make this distinction, though they are better than ultrasounds at detecting microcalcifications. Fluid-filled cysts are typically benign (non-cancerous). If a lump or mass is found to be solid, a breast biopsy may be recommended.
Ultrasound does not use radiation like x-ray or CT, therefore it safe to use during pregnancy, for women who are breastfeeding, women under 25 and women with silicone breast implants.
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