This information will help you get ready for your ultrasound at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). An ultrasound is also called a sonogram.
An ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to create pictures of your internal organs. It can be used to check blood flow or see if a mass is solid or filled with fluid. There’s no radiation with an ultrasound, you usually don’t need any injections (shots), and there are no known harmful side effects.
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During your ultrasound, you will lie on a bed or stretcher. Your ultrasound technologist will put a gel on the area of your body that’s being looked at. Then, they will move a small device called a probe over the surface of your skin.
Your ultrasound technologist can’t tell you your results during your scan. When your ultrasound is finished, a radiologist will review your ultrasound results and send your healthcare provider a written report within 24 hours. Ask your healthcare provider how and when you will get the results from your ultrasound.
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There are different types of ultrasounds. They’re named after the area of your body that’s being looked at.
How you need to get ready for your ultrasound depends on the type of ultrasound you’re having. Follow the instructions below the type of ultrasound you’re having. If you have any questions, or if you aren’t sure which type of ultrasound you’re having, contact your healthcare provider.
An abdominal ultrasound is used to look at the organs in your abdomen (belly). These include your liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, and kidneys.
A pelvic ultrasound is used to look at the organs in your pelvis. These include your ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, and bladder.
A combined abdominal and pelvic ultrasound is used to look at the organs in your abdomen and pelvis.
A transvaginal ultrasound is used to look at the lining of your uterus and your ovaries.
A renal ultrasound is used to look at 1 or both of your kidneys.
A urinary bladder ultrasound is used to look at your bladder.
A venous ultrasound is used to diagnose blood clots in your legs or arms.
A breast ultrasound is used to look at the inside of 1 or both of your breasts.
A scrotal ultrasound is used to look at 1 or both of your testicles, epididymis, and scrotum.
A carotid artery ultrasound is used to look at blood vessels in your neck. These vessels supply blood to your head.
A thyroid ultrasound is used to look at your thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck.
This type of ultrasound is used to guide the placement of a thin needle into your thyroid gland or lymph node. Cells are removed and sent to the laboratory to find out if you have any cancerous or other abnormal cells.
A hysterosonogram is used to look at the lining of your uterus and to check for polyps (growths of tissue).
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