Sound waves have many applications in technology and medicine. One of these applications, ultrasonography, is a medical imaging technique that uses sound waves to visualize the general outlines of tissues and organs located within the body.
With this procedure, sound waves with much higher frequency than what the human ear can perceive are applied to the body, and the returning times of these waves are calculated to produce an image of the examined area. Ultrasonography has a significant role in diagnosing many diseases and in the interventional treatment of some conditions.
Ultrasonography is a process of visualizing the body using high-frequency sound waves. Unlike many other imaging techniques, ultrasonography does not use X-rays, which makes it a harmless procedure. It can be safely used in pregnancy monitoring, pediatric and infant diseases. The quality of the images obtained after ultrasonography depends on the region of the body being examined. Both the ultrasonography procedure and the interpretation of the obtained data are carried out by radiologists who have received advanced training in ultrasonography and other imaging techniques. The ultrasonography procedure involves direct contact of a specialized device with the area to be imaged. This device, also known as an ultrasonic probe, consists of two parts: one that touches the skin and the other that converts sound waves into images displayed on a monitor. The area to be imaged is coated with a special gel to ensure proper transmission of sound waves. The images obtained during the procedure are real-time and are monitored and controlled by a radiologist.
Ultrasonic sound waves exhibit tendencies such as scattering, diffraction, and reflection depending on the size, density, homogeneity, and temperature of the examined organ or lesion, as well as many other factors. Therefore, the obtained images are evaluated taking these factors into consideration. Generally, organs and structures with large and flat surfaces are the most clearly visible and easily evaluated using ultrasonography. The validity of medical interpretations made by examining the obtained images is directly proportional to the expertise, experience, and success of the radiologist.
Many people, especially pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses, regularly undergo ultrasound for health screenings. In order to obtain the most clear images of the area being investigated and increase the accuracy of the findings, doctors must provide patients with the necessary information regarding what they should pay attention to before the ultrasound. Some ultrasound procedures, such as abdominal ultrasound, may require fasting for a certain period of time. Additionally, for pelvic ultrasounds conducted to investigate female reproductive system diseases, patients' bladders must be full. Proper attention to such matters prior to the procedure is of great importance for the ultrasound to achieve its purpose.
Before the ultrasound is taken, the entire area to be viewed by the radiology specialist is covered with transparent ultrasound gel. This gel is a substance that does not have any negative effects on health, and it only facilitates the lubrication of the area and the transmission of sound waves. As it is water-based, it can be easily cleaned with water after the procedure. After the necessary preparations have been completed and the patient has been provided with the necessary information, the probe of the ultrasound device is moved over the area to be viewed, and the images are monitored on the screen. During imaging, the radiologist may press the probe against the skin in some areas to obtain a better and clearer image. This is normal and does not cause any harm. After the imaging process is completed, some outputs are taken from the obtained images, and a report on the procedure is prepared. This report is sent to the medical institution that requested the ultrasound.
Ultrasonography, which is developed for the diagnosis of diseases in areas that cannot be seen with the naked eye and cannot be accessed with endoscopic methods, is one of the most commonly used imaging techniques in the medical field. It provides diagnosis and treatment options in many areas, including abdominal organs, breast screening, and pregnancy monitoring. The main areas where ultrasound is used are as follows:
- Health screening for the baby's health in pregnant women
- Detection of possible irregularities in the heart's functioning
- Investigation of various infections
- Detection of gallbladder stones and diseases
- Investigation of tumors in the breast and soft tissues
- Examination of muscle diseases
- Investigation of prostate and genital diseases
- Providing imaging for needle-based interventions in cyst and biopsy treatments
- Investigation of thyroid gland diseases
Pelvic ultrasonography is an ultrasonography technique used for screening diseases of organs such as uterus and ovaries in women, as well as routine follow-up during advanced stages of pregnancy. Prior to pelvic ultrasonography, especially if the procedure is performed on women's reproductive organs, the patient should have a full bladder. It is a short procedure that can be completed within a few minutes and is performed from the lower part of the abdomen.
Abdominal ultrasonography, which includes various techniques and application methods, is generally used to investigate diseases related to organs located in the abdominal cavity. It is also preferred for imaging of the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, prostate, stomach, and intestines. Ultrasonography performed during pregnancy is also included in this group. 3D or 4D ultrasound, Doppler ultrasound, color ultrasound, and other suitable techniques can be used to perform the procedure.
Transvaginal ultrasonography is an ultrasonography technique that allows much clearer images to be obtained compared to pelvic ultrasonography in imaging women's reproductive organs. With this method, the ultrasonography probe is inserted into the vagina. Sound waves are transmitted within the vagina, and the results obtained by imaging the reproductive organs such as the uterus and ovaries in this way have a much smaller margin of error. Since the probe is inserted into the vagina, in women who are sexually active, it is not necessary to have a full bladder before the procedure.
This is an optional ultrasonography technique that is generally used to clearly view a baby in pregnant women, observe their movements, examine their limbs, and detect certain structural diseases. The images obtained are much clearer compared to 2D ultrasound, and determining the baby's gender is also quite easy with this technique.
Color Doppler ultrasonography provides a different imaging opportunity compared to other ultrasound techniques, and it is possible to investigate vascular diseases, examine the distribution of blood vessels in tissues and organs, and therefore investigate tendencies for cancer in tumors. It is also called detailed ultrasound. At the same time, the direction of blood flow, possible vein obstructions, and problems causing obstruction can be detected with this ultrasound technique. In pregnant women, the use of Doppler ultrasound can also be applied to detect conditions such as fetal growth retardation.
In addition to these, ultrasound techniques with or without color specific to the area being examined, such as echocardiography and mammography, are also available. The decision on which ultrasound technique to apply is made by the doctor who requested the ultrasound, taking into account factors such as the patient's condition, age, gender, the location and severity of the disease. If you want to undergo a health screening with a general ultrasound application or have routine checks for any of your illnesses, you can apply to a healthcare facility, have an examination, and make an appointment for ultrasonography.