Health Glossary - For Everyone

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What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a medical test using high frequency sound waves, which bounce back from the body structures, to get the images of various organs and tissues in the body. A computer receives these bounced waves and uses them to create a picture.

During the ultrasound test, a gel spread over the skin under which ar the organs that are being investigated. Then a wand-like instrument called a transducer is moved over the part(s) of the body that are being investigated. The transducer captures the waves that bounce back

There is no ionizing radiation exposure from an ultrasound (unlike with an e-ray).

There are various preparations required for the different types of ultrasound investigative tests (some require no preparation):


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Important ultrasound facts

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Why an ultrasound is important

An ultrasound is an excellent diagnostic tool and can produce good scans of various parts of the body, to assist with diagnosing illness (or providing an all-clear) as well as being a very safe way to check the progress of the unborn child in pregnant women.

An ultrasound, however does have limitations. It is not the best test to use for parts of the body that have gas or bone in them. These are better tested with x-rays (for bones) and MRI or CAT scan (for bones and gas).


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Last reviewed: 30 September 2007 || Last updated: 14 March 2010


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More information

To learn more, go to the following web sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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