The basic principles of ultrasound examinations
Ultrasound examinations are done using high frequency sound waves, that cannot be heard by human ears. The machine creates a picture out of the reverberations of the ultrasound waves that are infused into the body. The different organs, their parts, and certain mutations reflect and absorb the sound waves to a different degree, thus appearing at different levels of brightness on the screen.
The ultrasound used for the examinations does not harm the body, it can even be used on small children and pregnant women, and can be repeated if necessary, without any risks. We use examining heads of different shapes and wavelengths for different purposes.
What is ultrasound suitable or not suitable for?
Ultrasound is suitable for the examination of abdominal and minor pelvic organs, soft parts (thyroid, scrotum, etc.), vessels of the limbs and neck, muscles and joints. Ultrasound completely reflects from calcareous, bony or air-filled clinical aspects, therefore it is not suitable for examining the structure of bones or lungs. It also cannot be of aid in the examination of organs or mutations behind air-filled stomach or bowels.
Is the examination painful or uncomfortable?
The examinations are not painful, but to make them easier, we sometimes apply mild or moderate pressing, especially in the case of abdominal examinations. In certain pathological states, this method might cause temporary discomfort.
How much time do the examinations take?
An ultrasound examination usually takes 15 minutes. Some more complicated circulatory examinations might take a longer time. After the examination, the patient can receive the result.
Do ultrasound examinations provide a foolproof diagnosis?
None of the imaging examinations are guaranteed to provide a 100% accurate result. Diagnostic accuracy might vary depending on certain organs and mutations. In some cases, the mutation that is found requires further examinations to refine the diagnosis (CT, MR, isotope etc., in some cases cytology and histology).
Please bring any previous results of the following examinations, in order to receive the most accurate diagnosis possible:
- previous ultrasound examinations
- CT, MR or X-ray examinations
Abdominal ultrasound is nowadays a basic diagnostic examination. It provides an overview of the abdominal organs, and it is completely harmless and painless.
The size, structure, and certain deficiencies of the thyroid can be examined using ultrasound.
Using ultrasound, soft parts under the skin and lymph nodes can be examined in any part of the body.
Ultrasound examination of the scrotum is done using a high resolution device which gives a detailed picture. The examination also includes the epididymis and the spermatic.
During the ultrasound examination of the penis, its structure, the glans, and to a certain extent, the outer layers under the skin, bigger aortas and veins can be analyzed. With current ultrasound techniques, we usually cannot examine surface processes that only affect the skin.
Circulation, width and deviances of the neck arteries that go to the brain (arteria carotis and vertebralis), and the artery below the collarbone (arteria subclavia) can be examined with this method.
In the veins of the limbs, the doppler ultrasound examination is suitable for exploring circulation, obstructions (thrombosis), and for checking progress after the treatment of thrombosis.
In the case of patients suffering from erectile dysfunction, the aim of Penis Color Doppler examination is to get information about the vessels of the penis, its circulation, in order to find the best way to help the patient with his problem.