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.
Ultrasound Hours of Operation at Franklin Memorial Hospital
Monday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Prep Instructions for Some Common Exams
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.
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.