|About Ultrasound Imaging|
Ultrasound scanning, also called ultrasound imaging or sonography is safe and painless. Sonographic images are produced by introducing sound waves through a transducer into tissue, which are then reflected by the tissue back to the transducer. Because different types of tissue reflect sound waves at different speeds, computer-generated images can be created, giving an accurate picture of anatomy and pathology.
Ultrasound scans do not use ionizing radiation; hence there is no radiation exposure to the patient. Sonographic images are captured in real-time and therefore have the ability to show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
What are the benefits of ultrasound? From a proactive perspective for those concerned about taking an active role in their health; this modality has the ability to show structure and anatomy without radiation. This alone makes it a perfect complement to the thermography screening services that we have offered to this community for nearly a decade. Targeted ultrasound scans on areas identified as at risk or abnormal by thermography or other testing have shown to be very effective in providing specific results.
Standard Diagnostic Ultrasound screening is affordable, noninvasive and without side effects. It is able to provide a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-ray images.
We offer breast, carotid and thyroid screening in our Bonita Springs clinic. These services are offered both as preventative screening and as additional testing to prior positive results from other diagnostics.
Breast ultrasound has the advantage of being able to see quite clearly through the dense tissue that decreases mammographic accuracy. It also excels at defining either the cystic or solid nature of a lump, which mammography cannot reliably do. The information provided by this tool is risk and radiation free. It has the disadvantage, however, of being non-specific. Ultrasound will see more ‘things,’ but it cannot always accurately delineate what those ‘things’ are, and has the potential for a higher rate of follow-up ultrasounds or biopsies.
Breast ultrasound can clearly find some cancers not visible mammographically, but the reverse is also true. Advanced cancers can sometimes manifest as calcifications, which are typically not visualized sonographically. As there is no single perfect test for breast screening a multi-modality approach of both physiological and structural testing is recommended.
A carotid ultrasound is performed to detect a narrowing of the carotid arteries caused by plaque buildup or other abnormalities that may disrupt blood flow. These factors can increase the risk of stroke. Carotid arteries are usually narrowed by a buildup of plaque. Plaque generally consists of that fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances that circulate in the blood stream and accumulate on arterial walls. Early diagnosis and treatment of a narrowed carotid artery can decrease stroke risk.
A thyroid ultrasound is used to examine the structure of the thyroid, its size and shape. It is useful in examining the thyroid for abnormalities such as cysts, nodules and tumors.