Malibu Medical Group

Internal Medicine & Addiction Medicine located in Malibu, CA

If you have symptoms of an injury or another health condition or are pregnant, an ultrasound helps your doctor make a diagnosis and establish a tailored treatment plan for you. At Malibu Medical Group in Malibu, California, the experienced team of internal medicine providers uses ultrasound and other imaging procedures to view images inside your body without using radiation. Call Malibu Medical Group to learn more about diagnostic imaging, or schedule an appointment online today.

Ultrasound Q & A

What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound, also known as sonography, is a type of diagnostic imaging that uses high-frequency sound waves to view structures inside your body. A transducer from an ultrasound machine sends out and captures sound waves that bounce off body tissues.

This process creates sound wave images that your doctor uses to diagnose medical conditions. Unlike X-rays, ultrasounds are imaging procedures that don’t expose you to radiation.

What are ultrasounds used for?

A provider at Malibu Medical Group may recommend an ultrasound for various reasons, such as:

  • Viewing a fetus during pregnancy
  • Obtaining images of the uterus or ovaries
  • Examining breast lumps
  • Evaluating blood flow
  • Diagnosing gallbladder disease
  • Evaluating the thyroid gland
  • Assessing certain bone diseases
  • Detecting prostate or genital problems
  • Evaluating joint inflammation
  • Guiding a needle during biopsies

Ultrasound imaging is a safe procedure with no known risks. Although it’s valuable in assessing the health of certain tissues within your body, sound waves don’t travel well through bone or air.

Therefore, ultrasounds aren’t always effective for viewing areas surrounded by lots of bone, such as your brain and lungs. For these structures, your doctor may recommend other diagnostic imaging tests.

What should I expect during an ultrasound?

Before an ultrasound, you’ll remove any jewelry and possibly some clothing, depending on the areas of your body that require images.

You might change into a gown and will sit or lie on a comfortable examination table. Your technician applies a gel to your skin to prevent air from blocking the sound waves.

The provider places a transducer, or a small hand-held device, against your skin while it sends sound waves throughout your body. In some cases, she places a special type of transducer inside your body through your:

  • Esophagus while you’re sedated to obtain heart images
  • Rectum to view images of your prostate
  • Vagina to obtain images of the uterus or ovaries

Your doctor lets you know which type of ultrasound procedure is right for you based on your symptoms, medical history, and the area of your body requiring imaging.

Ultrasounds are generally painless, but you might experience pressure if a transducer gets inserted inside your body. The procedure may take about 30-60 minutes to complete.

What happens after an ultrasound?

After your ultrasound, you can resume normal daily activities right away. Your doctor views the images, interprets results, and lets you know if you require treatment for a health condition.

If you experience symptoms of an illness, disease, or injury, you’re in good hands with the experienced medical team at Malibu Medical Group.

The providers let you know if you require an ultrasound or another imaging procedure to optimize your patient-centered treatment plan. Schedule an appointment by phone or online with Malibu Medical Group today.