Patient Education - Lung Cancer Program at UCLA
yourself about lung cancer:
Ultrasound involves the use of high-frequency sound waves to create images of
organs and systems within the body.
How the Test is Performed
An ultrasound machine creates images that allow various organs in the body to be
examined. The machine sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off body
structures. A computer receives these reflected waves and uses them to create a picture.
Unlike with an x-ray, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with this test.
The test is done in the ultrasound or radiology department. You will be lying
down for the procedure. A clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the skin
over the area being examined to help with the transmission of the sound waves. A
handheld probe called a transducer is then moved over the area being examined. You
may be asked to change position so that other areas can be examined.
For specific information about ultrasound examinations, please refer to the following
- Pregnancy ultrasound
- Vascular ultrasound
- Doppler/ultrasound of the heart
- Doppler ultrasound of an arm or a leg
- Duplex Doppler/ultrasound exam of an arm or a leg
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Thyroid ultrasound
- Transvaginal ultrasound
- Testicle ultrasound
How to Prepare for the Test
Preparation for the procedure will depend on the body region being examined.
How the Test Will Feel
There is generally little discomfort with ultrasound procedures. The conducting gel
may feel slightly cold and wet.
Why the Test is Performed
The reason for the examination will depend on your symptoms.
Results are considered normal if the organs and structures in the region being
examined are normal in appearance.
What Abnormal Results Mean
The significance of abnormal results will depend on the body region being examined
and the nature of the problem. Consult your health care provider with any questions
There are no documented risks. No ionizing radiation exposure is involved.
Most ultrasound examinations are performed in the manner described. However, certain
circumstances require that the ultrasound probe be inserted into the body, rather
than simply passing it over the skin. Consult your health care provider to determine
the specifics of your test.
Review Date: 10/24/2006
Reviewed By: Stuart Bentley-Hibbert, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Radiology, Weill
Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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