Although ultrasound machines are among the most used equipment in clinics and hospitals, not many people still fully understand how these work. Others do not realize the importance of the technology over other traditional tools. You will find that ultrasound is more effective and safe compared to others. There are no special preparations needed also in most cases. Learning more about the process will help you determine if you need it or not.
Ultrasound is defined as cyclic sound pressure having a frequency higher than the human hearing upper limit. The upper limit can vary from person to person, but the average lower limit is 20 kilohertz. Ultrasound is used in several fields to penetrate different types of medium and have an accurate measurement based on the reflection projected by the focused energy. The reflection signature can provide well-defined features of the medium’s inner structure. Several popular applications of the procedure involve taking photos of babies inside the uterus.
More on Sonography
Medical sonography is also known as ultrasonography. It is a medical imaging technique used for diagnosis that is founded on ultrasound. It can visualize tendons, internal organs, muscles and other specifics such as the structure, size and present lesions using real time tomographic images. A fetus can be visualized during emergency and routine prenatal care.
Obstetric sonography is common among pregnant women. Ultrasound machines have been used for a minimum of 50 years among human beings and are one of the most used diagnostic equipment in modern medicine. Compared to other tools such as MRI or magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography or CT, ultrasound is more affordable, portable and shows no great risk to patients. It does not use ionizing radiation, although it does enhance the inflammatory reaction and can form bubbles.
Ultrasound can also be used for therapeutic purposes, together with medications. The procedure can be very helpful in detecting pelvic abnormalities and uses methods such as abdominal ultrasound, rectal ultrasound in men and vaginal ultrasound in women. High intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU is also highly effective in treating malignant and benign tumors. The process may also be known as FUS or focused ultrasound surgery.
During FUS, lower frequencies are used ranging from 250 to 2000 kilohertz. The time-averaged intensities are higher, however. MRI guides the treatment so the process can therefore be called Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound or MRgFUS. When chemotherapy is done to brain cancer cells, plus drugs to other tissues, the process is called ATDD or acoustic targeted drug delivery.
Therapeutic ultrasound machines use more powerful sources to create local heating among body tissues. It is often used in physical therapy, occupational therapy and cancer treatment. Focused ultrasound can also be used for treating cataracts by phacoemulsification. Cosmetic surgery such as liposuction can be guided by ultrasound. Other procedures that may also involve ultrasound are elastography, lipectomy, sclerotherapy and endovenous laser treatment.
Ultrasound machines are also very common in veterinary clinics. It can be used for pregnant dogs, treating lesions and tumors and detecting other anomalies in sick pets. The procedure in veterinary practices usually does not require any special preparation such as an empty stomach or full bladder. Some animals like insects may hear the sound frequencies but most mammals are not able to, even though they hear higher frequencies than humans.