Ultrasound Scans (or sonograms)

Highlands Imaging Center was the first facility in North Alabama to introduce ultrasound services. Since then, the ultrasound equipment has been replaced and upgraded several times, in order to maintain state-of-the-art capabilities. Highlands Imaging Center has recently purchased two new Philips High Definition Imaging 5000 systems, offering all the latest technological advances available, including 3-D Imaging and SonoCT that provides enhanced diagnostic confidence for your ultrasound exams.

Ultrasound - Abdomen, Renal, Gallbladder
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound-wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored in a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

Ultrasound may be used to check for a variety of disorders in the gallbladder, liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys or abdominal aorta. Your exam will be performed by a technologist with special training in ultrasound.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, you should plan to be in the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend one to two hours in the Radiology department for your exam.
  • You should not eat or drink anything for six to eight hours prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • You will be asked to lie still, hold your breath at different times and change positions as needed during the exam, while the technologist takes a series of pictures.
After the exam
  • You may resume your normal activities and diet.
  • The results of your exam will by reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Amniocentesis
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored as a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study. An amniocentesis is a procedure performed to collect a sample of amniotic fluid (the fluid surrounding a baby before it is born). A lab analysis of the fluid can give your doctor important information about the growth of your baby. This procedure can be more easily accomplished by using ultrasound to locate an adequate area of fluid away from the baby and placenta.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend about one hour in the Radiology Department for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined to locate an area of accessible fluid.
  • A physician, either your Obstetrician or one of our staff Radiologists will clean the skin around the chosen site of fluid. Then he/she will gently insert a needle through the abdominal wall and into the uterus to withdraw a small amount of fluid.
  • The fluid will then be sent to a lab for analysis.
After the exam
  • Your doctor will give you specific instructions about resuming your normal activities.
  • The lab results of your exam are usually available for your physician within 48 to 72 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Pregnancy Scan With 3D Imaging
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals, which create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored as a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

A pregnancy ultrasound is an exam used to monitor the size, growth rate and well-being of your baby before it is born.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend about two hours in the Radiology Department for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • You should start “pushing fluids” the morning of your exam, you should empty your bladder one hour prior to your exam time. Continue “pushing fluids” and do not empty your bladder again. Your bladder should be very full for this exam
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A lengthy series of scan images will be made of your baby.
  • After all necessary images have been made and all information documented, the Radiologist will come into the room and briefly scan over your abdomen.
After the exam
  • You may resume your normal activities and diet.
  • The results of your exam will be reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Breast
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored in a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

A breast ultrasound is an exam usually done to document the size and characteristics of a lump, after it is felt in the breast tissue or after an unusual finding is noted on a mammogram.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend about one hour in the Radiology Department for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A series of scan images will be made of your breast.
  • The Radiologist will review your scan images and he/she may come into the room and briefly scan the area of concern.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Pelvis and Transvaginal Exam
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored in a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

A pelvic ultrasound is generally ordered to investigate causes of pelvic pain in females. The uterus, ovaries and surrounding structures are examined during this exam.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • Plan to spend one to two hours in the department for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • You should start "pushing fluids” the morning of your exam. You should empty your bladder one hour prior to your exam time. Continue “pushing fluids” and do not empty your bladder again. Your bladder should be very full for this exam
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A series of scan images will be made.
  • The Radiologist will review the study with the technologist, before you are allowed to empty your bladder.
  • Sometimes, it may be necessary to examine the uterus and ovaries using a transvaginal probe. If so, you will be allowed to empty your bladder and then lie back down on the scan table.
  • A very small covered probe will be inserted into the vagina to examine the area in more detail.
  • A series of images will be made, and the probe will be removed.
After the exam
  • You may resume your normal activities and diet.
  • Exam results will be reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Thyroid Sonogram
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored in a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

A thyroid sonogram is an ultrasound exam of the thyroid gland in the neck. It is used to evaluate the size, shape and certain tissue characteristics of the thyroid gland.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend one to two hours at the hospital for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove the clothing from the upper part of your body and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A series of scan images will be made.
  • The Radiologist will review the study with the technologist before the completion of your exam.
After the exam
  • The results of your exam will be reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Echopleurogram
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored in a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

An echopleurogram exam is ordered to help differentiate and locate pockets or areas of fluid in the base of the lungs. This is often done prior to a drainage procedure, in which the surgeon or physician places a needle or drainage tube into the chest to drain fluid away from the lungs.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend one to two hours at the hospital for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily removed.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table or to sit up on a stretcher or in a chair, if your condition permits.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A series of scan images will be made.
  • The technologist will review the study with the Radiologist before the completion of your exam.
After the exam
  • The results of your exam will be reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Guided Needle Biopsy or Cyst Puncture
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored in a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

Ultrasound can also be used to locate certain areas that may require fluid drainage, as in the case of a fluid-filled cyst, or an area that requires a biopsy that can be done with a long, small caliber needle. These areas can be located with the ultrasound beam, their location marked on the skin, and their depth measured on the ultrasound image, so that the physician will know where and how deep to insert the needle to obtain a successful biopsy or drainage.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend two to four hours at the hospital for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily removed.
  • You should not eat or drink anything for two to four hours prior to the exam.
Procedure
  • You will be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • The technologist and the Radiologist will explain the procedure and any possible complications to you.
  • You will be asked to sign permit for the procedure to be done.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A series of scan images will be made to localize the area that is to be biopsied or drained.
  • After a site has been chosen, the Radiologist will clean the area thoroughly with betadine.
  • You will be given a small injection of xylocaine in the skin to deaden the area where the needle will be inserted. You will feel a stinging sensation as this injection begins.
  • The needle will then be inserted, while the area is being scanned. You may feel pressure at the insertion site, but you should not feel any pain.
  • After the needle is in the correct place, the fluid (for drainage procedures) or the tissue (for biopsy) will be removed through the needle.
  • After the drainage or biopsy is complete, the needle will be removed.
After the exam
  • The Radiologist will give you specific instructions about resuming your normal activities.
  • You may be asked to remain in the department for 30 minutes up to two hours after the procedure, so that you can be monitored for any bleeding or other complications.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Cardiac Exam (echo)

Patients must be 16 years old or older

Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored in a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

A cardiac echo exam is used to study the heart and its surrounding structures. This exam documents information about the size, shape, and function of the heart and its valves and chambers.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend about one to two hours in the Radiology Department for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • If you have not had a routine chest x-ray recently, you may need to have one for this exam.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will place some patches on your chest, so that your heart’s electrical activity can be monitored during the exam.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A series of scan images and measurements will be made of your heart.
  • The Radiologist will review your scan images, and he/she will come into the room and scan the area of concern.
After the exam
  • The results of your exam will be reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Carotid Arteries
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored for a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

A carotid ultrasound is a study designed to document blood flow to the brain through the carotid arteries in the neck. This exam will show plaque build-up and narrowing of the arteries that could lead to stroke.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend about one to two hours in the Radiology Department for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A series of scan images and measurements will be made of your arteries.
  • The Radiologist will review your scan images, and he/she may come into the room and scan the area of concern.
After the exam
  • The results of your exam will be reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Extremity - Arterial
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored for a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

An arterial exam is an exam of the arteries specifically in an arm or leg. Both arms or both legs must be examined for comparison purposes, even though you may only be having problems with one leg or arm.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend two to three hours at the hospital for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily removed.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will ask you a series of questions concerning your medical history.
  • Then the technologist will make a series of images with a small transducer that will record the wave-form of the blood, as it flows through the different arteries of your leg or arm. This will be done for each leg or arm.
  • Next, a series of pressure cuffs will be placed around your legs or arms to record the blood pressure at specific intervals.
  • Once all the pressure recordings are complete, your exam results will be printed, and the Radiologist will review these results with the technologist.
After the exam
  • The results of your exam will be reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

Ultrasound - Extremity Venous
Purpose

Ultrasound uses sound wave frequencies at a level too high to be heard by the human ear. The sound waves are transmitted by a small transducer, as it is rubbed over the skin of the area being examined. The sound waves will pass harmlessly through the skin and will produce an echo, as they bounce off certain organs and body structures. The transducer is also “listening” and picks up the echoes, as they are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then turns these echoes into electrical signals that create an image on a monitor. These images are then stored in a permanent record to be reviewed by the Radiologist who reads your study.

A venous ultrasound is used to examine the veins in a portion of the body, usually a leg, to determine the presence or absence of deep venous thrombosis or blood clots in the veins.

Preparation
  • If you are an outpatient, please be at the X-ray admissions office 15 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • You should plan to spend one to two hours at the hospital for your exam.
  • You should wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily removed.
Procedure
  • You may be asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie down on the scan table.
  • The technologist will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel will wipe or wash off easily and will not stain.
  • The technologist will rub a small device called a transducer over the area being examined.
  • A series of scan images will be made from the groin area of your leg down through the knee (and sometimes farther down).
  • The Radiologist will review the study with the technologist before the completion of your exam.
After the exam
  • The results of your exam will be reported to your physician within 24 hours.

If you have any further questions, please let your nurse or doctor’s office know, and a technologist will be glad to talk with you.

You may also call the Radiology Department at 256.218.3850.

 

Highlands Imaging Center

Highlands Imaging Center
Phone: 256.218.3850