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Also referred to as medical sonograms, ultrasounds are noninvasive tests using soundwaves to create images of organs and systems within the body. Physicians can visualize blood vessels and internal organs using ultrasound. Ultrasound images are captured in real-time, and they show the movement of the body's internal organs and blood flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasound tests are standard in pregnancy and are done to evaluate the development of the fetus.

To perform your ultrasound examination, the technologist will spread a clear, warm gel on your skin. This gel helps with the transmission of sound waves. The technician will then move a small wand (transducer) over the gel. The transducer emits high-frequency sound waves, and a computer measures how the sound waves bounce back from the body. The computer changes those sound waves into images to be analyzed by your physician.

The Ohio Valley Imaging Center performs fine-needle aspiration/biopsy procedures of the thyroid. The thyroid gland is located in front of the neck just above the neckline. Ultrasound guidance is used during this test to scan the thyroid and locate a nodule(s). A radiologist uses a small needle to remove cells from the nodule(s), which a pathologist then examines. This is considered a minimally invasive procedure, and there is no special preparation. Please notify your physician and/or Ohio Valley Imaging Center scheduling personnel, however, if you are currently taking blood thinners. You may be asked to discontinue them before this test.

Patients should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for their ultrasound exam. You may need to remove clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined, and you may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure. Your technologist may ask you to drink water prior to your procedure.

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