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4000 Empire Drive
Bakersfield, California 93309

Ultrasound

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What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound (sonography) is a safe, painless and cost effective test that uses high frequency sound waves to view organs, tissues or blood flow inside the body. The sound waves that are produced during an ultrasound cannot be heard or felt. Both still and moving real-time images can be captured during an ultrasound.

There are no risks from an ultrasound scan. It is non-invasive and does not expose you to any radiation. Therefore, the scan can be repeated without any known adverse effects. Ultrasound is useful for evaluating a variety of conditions including pain, swelling and infection. It can be used to examine internal organs such as the uterus, ovaries, kidneys, liver, bladder, heart and thyroid. In obstetrics, ultrasound is routinely used to assess the progression of pregnancy.

How Does Ultrasound Work?

Ultrasound imaging uses the principles of SONAR developed during World War I to track submarines. It began being used for medical purposes in the late 1940s. A transducer is placed on your skin and pulses of sound waves are sent through your body. As the sound waves pass through the body, they produce echoes which the transducer receives and sends back to the computer. The echoes are analyzed and converted into images, which in turn creates real-time pictures on the monitor. This helps to determine the shape, size and composition of organs and tissues. Since ultrasound records images in real time, it is especially useful for examining blood flow and guiding needle biopsy procedures.

How Do I Prepare for an Ultrasound?

When scheduling your appointment provide us with your email address and we will send you your personalized forms with your information already filled in. If your email address is not provided, you can still save time by downloading the Registration forms and completing them prior to arriving at the office.

Wear easy to remove clothing, as you may need to change into a gown. Wearing a comfortable sweat suit is optimal. It will keep you warm and it is easy to change out of. The preparations for Ultrasound vary based upon the area of the body being studied. Some Ultrasounds require no special preparations.

Aortic/Abdominal

Nothing to eat drink, chew or smoke for six hours prior to your exam.

Breast

No lotions or deodorant in the breast area (we can provide wipes to remove this if you forget)

Pelvic/Obstetrical

A full bladder is necessary for the exam. Have breakfast and/or lunch. Drink 32-48 oz of water one hour prior to study. Do not empty your bladder.

Renal (Kidney/ Bladder

Drink a 32-48 oz. glass of water one hour prior to study and hold.

Bring with You to the Appointment:

  • Referral slip from your doctor.
  • Current insurance card.
  • Authorization number from your insurance carrier.
  • Any forms you completed at home.
  • Credit card or cash for your insurance co-pay.
  • If you have other Ultrasound studies from another facility, be sure to bring them with you. Our Radiologists like to compare the new study with previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.
  • Picture Identification.

What Will I Do When I Arrive?

Present your prescription, insurance card and completed forms at the front desk. If any additional forms are required, they will be given to you at this time.

Be sure to inform the receptionist and technologist if you have any relevant studies of the same body area from another facility. We like to compare the new ultrasound study with any previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.

Plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

What Happens During an Ultrasound?

Depending on the area being studied, you may need to change into a gown. Before beginning the exam, the ultrasound technologist will confirm that any special preparation that may have been required was followed. You will then be asked to lie down on a comfortable padded examination table.

A small amount of a water soluble gel is placed on the area being examined. This gel is harmless and can be easily wiped clean after the exam. The gel prevents any air from getting between the transducer (ultrasound probe) and your skin. This direct contact between the probe and your skin helps the transducer to deliver sound waves into your body most efficiently.

The ultrasound technologist will place the transducer gently on your skin where the gel was applied and move the probe around slowly. Changing the direction or the angle of the probe allows the sonographer to get the best possible images of the organ or tissue being examined. Once all the images have been recorded, you can wipe off the gel and you are ready to go.

When Can I Expect the Results?

One of our board certified radiologist interprets your ultrasound images, compares them to any previous studies and dictates a report which is transcribed, proofread and signed. The report is then faxed and mailed to your referring doctor. Your doctor will read the report and review the findings with you. All of your signed reports and images are available to your referring doctor on our physician web portal.

Need to Request an Appointment? Call (661) 631-8000 Today