What is Ultrasound?
Also known as sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, it is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within the body. The images can provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions. Unlike other imaging techniques, it uses no radiation, making it the preferred method for viewing a developing fetus during pregnancy.
Why would my doctor order an Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is very useful in helping to evaluate and diagnose issues within the body. The physician may order a gynecologic ultrasound for a variety of symptoms, including pelvic pain or abnormal bleeding. Obstetric ultrasound is utilized throughout pregnancy to verify the health of your developing baby.
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Gynecologic UltrasoundA pelvic ultrasound is typically performed to evaluate the ovaries, uterus, and cervix. This imaging is achieved through both vaginal and abdominal approaches.
- A transabdominal ultrasound uses a full bladder as a means for sonographic transmission. The gel is applied and a transducer is passed over the lower abdomen to generate an image.
- An endovaginal or transvaginal ultrasound is the other means to evaluate the pelvic organs. This is an internal ultrasound that uses a probe that is inserted in the vaginal canal to get an up-close view of the uterus and ovaries.
It is used throughout pregnancy to help guide the best care possible for you and your baby. While seeing your baby for the first time can be an incredibly exciting experience, it is also vital to verify the health of your developing baby. The main function of the sonographer is to provide your doctor with the necessary images to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
First Trimester UltrasoundIn early pregnancy, it is likely that a transvaginal imaging approach will be utilized. An endovaginal ultrasound provides a detailed look at the pelvic organs and the developing fetus. In the first trimester, it is used to:
- Verify that the pregnancy is within the uterus
- Confirm the age of the pregnancy
- Evaluate any bleeding that may be occurring in early pregnancy
- Image and evaluate the ovaries
Second Trimester UltrasoundThe second trimester is the ideal time to evaluate the fetus. Optimal views can be obtained between 19-20 weeks. A full evaluation of fetal anatomy is performed as well as measurements to confirm accurate dating. To get the most comprehensive anatomical assessment the sonographer will be aiming for many different views from a variety of different angles making this a lengthier exam. The primary purpose is to ensure that the baby is structurally normal. The exam will evaluate:
- The fetal brain
- Arms and legs
- Fetal organs including: heart, stomach, bladder, and kidneys
- Umbilical Cord
Third Trimester UltrasoundIt is not routinely used in the third trimester. However, there may be reasons for closer evaluation of your baby. Limited third-trimester ultrasounds allow us to evaluate:
- Fetal size
- Amount of amniotic fluid
- Location of placenta
- Presentation of the baby
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When indicated, 3D and/or 4D will be utilized as part of your Obstetric or Gynecologic exam. 3D and 4D images are created by acquiring numerous 2D images at slightly varying angles that are then rendered into a 3D image by high-speed computing software. 4D imaging includes motion, allowing for fetal movements to be witnessed in real-time. 3D as part of a gynecologic exam is a useful tool in the evaluation of uterine structural abnormalities, fibroids, or IUDs. In obstetrics 3D/4D imaging supplements routine 2D exams with the ability to evaluate the fetal face. 3D may help to identify structural congenital anomalies of the fetus during the second-trimester exam.
How Much Does a Ultrasound Costs?The cost of this procedure will depend on several factors. The price can be affected by body type, type of technique performed, surgical complications, and even allergies. Find out more by scheduling a consultation.
Schedule a ConsultationContact A. DAWAN GUNTER, MD, FACOG today to schedule a consultation for your Ultrasound in Holly Springs, NC . We will take the time to guide you through the entire process, ensuring results that fully satisfy your aesthetic needs. Contact us today!
Give us a call at 919-567-6133
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