Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of the organs and soft tissues inside the body. These sound waves echo from the body to create an image in a computer. A special camera or probe called a transducer is used to see a "live" image of your child's body. Still images will be generated for the Radiologist (X-Ray doctor) to read and provide a report to your physician. .
When you arrive for your appointment, if your child was pre-registered over the phone, go to the Radiology Department on the first floor of the main hospital. If your child was not registered, stop by the admitting/registration area.
Sedation is almost never necessary for an Ultrasound. The exam is easy and painless. Your child can watch TV or talk with family and staff throughout the exam. Dress your child comfortably, in clothes that easily are removed. Your child will be lying down on a bed while having his or her procedure and can bring a favorite blanket or stuffed animal to hold. Parents are always welcomed in the exam room. The technologist will ask you a series of questions about why the exam is being done and your child's history. Warm lotion (gel) will be applied to the area being imaged. The gel is clean, easily removable and does not stain clothing. Your child will feel the camera (transducer) being moved over the area being examined.
Abdomen (Complete or RUQ exam)
A complete abdomen is a survey of all the abdominal organs. A RUQ Abdomen includes the liver, gallbladder, right kidney and pancreas. Your child cannot have anything to eat or drink before these studies. The number of hours your child cannot eat depends on their age. The times are as follows:
- Infants: 3 hours
- Children (1-9 years): 6 hours
- Teens (10-18): 8 hours
Renal/bladder ultrasounds are images of both kidneys and bladder. Sometimes, an x-ray called a VCUG is ordered along with the ultrasound. This exam will follow the ultrasound in the x-ray department. A full bladder is not necessary for this exam but we ask your child have no carbonated beverages before the exam.
A pelvic ultrasound is a procedure to look at both ovaries and uterus in females. There are no food restrictions but your child must have a full bladder to complete this exam. Have them drink as follows:
- Infants: bring bottle to appointment.
- Children: at least 8ozs water or juice 30 minutes before appointment.
- 11 and older: Drink 32ozs. Liquid (water or juice) 1 hour prior to your appointment.
Do not empty bladder before exam.
Testicular ultrasounds are done for various reasons, including pain, swelling and undescended testicles. Depending on age, your child may be asked to change into a patient gown. Your child will be covered with a blanket to give your child as much privacy as possible while the exam is being done.
Hip ultrasounds are done for possible dysplasia when your physician feels a hip "click" during a routine exam. This exam can only performed until six months of age.
After six months, we can image the hip joint to check for fluid (effusion) if your child is feeling pain or difficulty walking.
The spine is imaged if your physician determines your child has a sacral dimple. Your baby will be placed on his stomach which the technologist images the entire spine to check location of the spinal cord and the area of the sacral dimple. A marker (BB) will be placed in the location at the end of the spinal cord and a single view x-ray will then be taken.
This exam is performed when a patient in the age range of approximately 3 weeks to 3 months begins vomiting. We ask that the baby not eat 3 hours before the test. The technologist will take images of the area of the stomach looking for a blockage. You will be asked to wait while the Radiologist reviews the images.
A vascular ultrasound is ordered when your physician suspects a blood clot in your child's arm or leg. There is no dietary restrictions for this test.
Most ultrasound exams take approximately 30-45 minutes. If your doctor has instructed you to bring copies of your images to your next appointment, a CD will be provided to you after your ultrasound. You will obtain the results of your child's test from your doctor's office after they are interpreted, usually within two days.