For many expectant mothers, going in for an ultrasound is one of the most exciting times during pregnancy. Ultrasound, or sonography, can be used to give parents the first glimpse of their child. But is ultrasound safe?
What is ultrasound?
Diagnostic ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses sound waves to provide images from inside the body. While most people associate ultrasound with fetal imaging, it is used for other instances when a doctor needs internal images of the body. Ultrasound helps in examining the function and condition of internal structures and organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, or blood vessels.
The ultrasound process is fairly simple. A sonographer places transducers on – or sometimes in – the patient’s body. These transducers produce sound waves at frequencies in the megahertz, which are well above what humans are able to hear. These sound waves bounce off tissues in your body and return to the transducers. The ultrasound machine uses this information to create images in real-time.
Is ultrasound safe?
People sometimes wonder if it’s possible for a mother or child to be harmed during an ultrasound. Unlike many types of imaging, such as x-ray, ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation to capture images. Though the amount of radiation used in most types of imaging is typically low, ultrasound imaging completely removes that concern from the equation.
While ultrasound is safe when performed by a trained medical professional, the sound waves used in sonography are powerful. Ultrasound can heat body tissues and has the potential to create small gas pockets in tissues or fluids. However, doctors have safely used ultrasound for decades with an impeccable safety record. The risks involved with ultrasound are low when carried out by a medical professional under the proper guidelines.
How can you schedule an ultrasound with MANA?
Ultrasound is just one of the many imaging services MANA clinics have to offer. Your primary care physician can refer you for imaging services. Request an appointment with a MANA physician today!