Vancouver Radiologists, P.C. is proud to be a regional leader in ultrasound services, accredited by the American College of Radiology or (ACR), and to have on staff, radiologists and technologists who have achieved the highest standard of expertise through national certifications and specialties. Among our radiologists, you will find fellowship trained and board certified physicians and our ultrasound technologists are certified members of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) with specialties in abdomen-small parts, breast, ob-gyn, and vascular imaging.
What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound can assist in diagnostic evaluation and is often used to assist in distinguishing between fluid and solid, including variation of densities. An ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure which uses reflected sound waves to obtain medical images of various tissues and organs in the body. There is no radiation involved.
Frequently performed ultrasound studies include:
- Abdomen-including the gallbladder, liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and appendix
- Breast –including evaluation of breast nodules
- Infant Hips – including static and dynamic evaluations
- Hysterosonogram- including the endometrial lining of the uterus
- Pelvis-including uterus and ovaries (gynecology)
- Pregnancy (OB)
- Vascular-including leg veins, carotid artery, aorta
Ultrasound exams require an order from your physician and may require pre-authorization from your insurance provider. A co-pay and/or deductible may apply. Please check with your health insurance provider for benefits.
Preparing for an Ultrasound
- For an abdominal exam, please do not eat or drink after midnight prior to the exam, except for medications with a small amount of water.
- For pelvic or pregnancy (OB) exams, please FINISH DRINKING 32oz OF WATER 45 minutes prior to your exam. **DO NOT EMPTY YOUR BLADDER PRIOR TO THE EXAM**
- For hysterosonograms, please take 200-400 mg of ibuprofen 2-3 hours before exam. This exam should be scheduled between the 7th and 12th day of your menstrual cycle, with no active infections or bleeding and before ovulation. Post menopausal patients can be seen at any time there is no active bleeding, or unless bleeding never stops. We suggest you refrain from strenuous activity for the first 24 hours post procedure. *You will be provided specific discharge instructions after the procedure.
During an Ultrasound
A technologist will review your clinical history prior to examination. You will be asked to lie on a comfortable table while the technologist performs the exam. A handheld device, called an ultrasound probe or transducer, will be moved on the surface of the skin in the area of interest after a liquid gel is placed on the probe and/or the skin. The gel is kept warm for the patient’s comfort. Depending on the patient and/or exam, the radiologist may also be present in the ultrasound room during the procedure.
For certain ultrasound exams, a special internal probe is used. The endovaginal probe is used for most pelvic exams to create the most detailed images of the uterus and ovaries. Exam chaperones may attend at the technologist’s discretion and/or at the patient’s request.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your exam, please ask your technologist. The technologist will ensure that the images taken are complete and accurate, before you leave the clinic; however please note, that they do not interpret the images.
After an Ultrasound
Our radiologist will review and interpret your images and send your results to your healthcare provider to discuss with you. If you have not been contacted with results within 48 hours, please contact your healthcare provider. As always, if you have questions or concerns at any time, please contact us and ask to speak to one of our Patient Navigators at (360)254-4914.