Ultrasounds: A Way to See Within
Author: Alekhya Buragadda
Alekhya Buragadda is a rising sophomore in South Fayette High School. Her passion and heart belongs to health and medicine. She wrote this article for people to learn how an ultrasounds works and its benefits.
Ultrasound is an imaging method that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within your body. These images can then be used to diagnose a variety of diseases and conditions. People fear that conducting an ultrasound emits radiation, however, diagnostic ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses low-power sound waves. The procedure goes as follows: a gel is applied to your skin over the area being examined in order to prevent air pockets. The sonographer presses a small, hand-held device, known as a transducer, against the area being studied and moves it to capture the images. A typical ultrasound exam takes around 30 minutes.
There are several types of ultrasounds, I have chosen to focus on two important types of ultrasounds in this article. A transvaginal ultrasound is a type of internal pelvic ultrasound used by doctors to examine female reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, and vagina. The ultrasound wand is covered with lubricating gel and is inserted into the vagina to take pictures of the inner organs. The next type of ultrasound is triplex ultrasound, also known as color-flow imaging. This is an enhanced form of doppler ultrasound technology. This type of imaging also identifies blood vessels, by coloring red for blood flow in one direction, and blue for blood flow in another direction.
The two pictures above are from an ultrasound taken during pregnancy. The picture on the left is an abnormal pregnancy because of the way the babies’ body parts are disconnected. Comparing this to the normal pregnancy, it is clear that the baby on the left will be born with abnormalities.
Ultrasounds are useful tools to see which abnormalities stem from differing locations across the fetus’ body. Ultrasounds are imperative to monitoring fetal growth and maternal abnormalities.
- “Triplex Ultrasound (Color-Flow Imaging).”StanfordHealth Care, 26 Mar. 2020,stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-tests/u/ultrasound/procedures/triplex-ultrasound.html#:%7E:text=Color%2Dflow%20imaging%20(also%20called,form%20of%20Doppler%20ultrasound%20technology.&text=Vessels%20in%20which%20blood%20is,the%20speed%20of%20the%20flow
- Herndon, Jamie. “What Is a Transvaginal Ultrasound?”Healthline, 17 Sept. 2018,www.healthline.com/health/transvaginal-ultrasound#procedure
- “Ultrasound -Mayo Clinic.”Mayo Clinic, 17 Mar. 2020.www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ultrasound/about/pac-20395177.