Ultrasound, also called sonography, is an imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. These pictures are a useful way of examining the body’s internal organs, blood vessels, or a developing fetus. Ultrasound is a non-invasive, radiation free diagnostic test. During an ultrasound exam, a clear, jelly-like substance will be applied over the part of the body being examined. A special device called a transducer will then be gently pressed against the body. The transducer records high-frequency sound waves that are sent into the body, and a computer will use this information to produce pictures. These pictures will be evaluated by a Radiologist to help the physician diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Franklin Memorial Hospital currently has three ultrasound rooms, one of which is located in our breast center. All of our ultrasound equipment is state of the art with all-digital imaging.
Our technologists are registered with the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) or are registry eligible. They are also members of the SDMS (Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers)
Monday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Q. Is there any radiation received when you have an ultrasound?
A. No radiation is used in an ultrasound. Sound waves are used to produce the image. The sound waves go into the body and reflect off the organs. They echo back through the camera into the computer and produce the image on the screen.
Q. Why do you use the gel on the camera?
A. The gel provides a good contact between the skin and the camera. Ultrasound cannot see through air, so we don’t want air to get between the camera and your skin. We use a water-based gel that wipes off easily and will not stain your clothes.
Q. How many years of training did you have so that you know what you are looking at?
A. The training to become a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) usually takes 3 full years. You need a 2-year degree in a health care field such as Radiolologic Technology and then a 1-year certificate in ultrasound. You must then pass 2 registry exams to become certified.
Q. Isn't ultrasound just for looking at babies?
A. No, ultrasound is used for evaluating many parts of the body. We do ultrasound on the abdomen (liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, spleen), pelvis (uterus and ovaries), arteries and veins, scrotum, thyroid, breast, and babies. We also offer Ultrasound guided interventional procedures such as breast biopsy, cyst aspirations, and pre-surgical needle localization.
Abdominal Ultrasound – We ask the patient not to eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours prior to the exam. We try to do these types of exams in the morning appointment slots and the patient is asked not to eat or drink after midnight. This prep is necessary because eating causes the gallbladder to contract. If the gallbladder is contracted we will not be able to evaluate it. Also, eating causes gas in the stomach and bowel. Ultrasound waves cannot penetrate through gas so we will not get a clear image of the organs.
Pelvic Ultrasound - We ask the patient to arrive with a full bladder. This is accomplished by drinking approximately 32 ounces of fluid starting 2 hours before the exam time. The reason for this prep is a full bladder is like a water balloon. The full bladder will push the bowel out of the way so the ultrasound waves can see the uterus and ovaries. The bowel contains air and ultrasound waves cannot penetrate through air, but they travel well through water. Without the full bladder we might not be able to see the organs.