Ultrasound: use in pregnancy, diagnosis, rehabilitation

What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound examination is also called sonography. is a non-invasive imaging method that uses high-frequency ultrasound waves anatomical description of body organs and tissue in the studied area. Ultrasound rays are emitted in the form of narrow beams similar to light rays.

Ultrasound waves are transmitted into the patient’s body using an ultrasound probe, where they are reflected and received back by tissues and organs, and converted into a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image. The doctor and patient can then watch it on the screen. Therefore, the ultrasound device works on the principle of the same mechanism by which bats move in space. [1, 23]

Ultrasound and its use in medicine

During an ultrasound, the doctor moves an ultrasound sensor or probe over the surface of your body or into an opening in your body. Progress depends what is the purpose of the exam and which part of the body is examined. There are three main types of ultrasound:

  • pregnancy ultrasound,
  • diagnostic ultrasound,
  • ultrasound guidance for procedures. [4, 5]

Ultrasound of the baby during pregnancy

Women usually have an ultrasound scan during pregnancy shortly after conception (between 6 and 9 months) to confirm pregnancy. However, doctors advise future mothers to undergo an ultrasound examination first between 20-22 weeks of pregnancy. At this time, using ultrasound waves, it is possible to identify all parts and organs of the child and detect the risk of possible developmental defects.

Therefore, this is the most important examination during pregnancy. In addition to the doctor assessing whether everything is fine, you will probably be able to find out thanks to the ultrasound the sex of the baby. Blood sampling is part of the examination.

During pregnancy, a classic ultrasound examination is performed by a doctor who rubs the abdomen come special, which allows the waves to reflect and travel more smoothly across the surface, and then the probe passes through the surface of your abdomen. During this examination, the following are checked:

  • the activity of the child’s heart,
  • child brain development
  • anatomy of individual organs,
  • the spine, holding the limbs and fingers,
  • head size,
  • cervical length,
  • placement of the placenta and blood flow from the umbilical cord,
  • amount of amniotic fluid.

Transvaginal ultrasound

It is also possible to conduct a transvaginal ultrasound to get a better picture. But this type is most often used during ultrasound early stages of pregnancy. During this examination, a small probe is inserted directly into the vagina. The probe rests against the back of the vagina during imaging.

3D and 4D ultrasound in pregnancy

Like regular ultrasound, 3D/4D ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image. This type of ultrasound is often offered to expectant parents to better visualize their baby. Three-dimensional imaging (3D) allows you to get a three-dimensional image of the child where you can see him. what does his face look like. If you are wondering when to have a 3D ultrasound scan, the best time is between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy.

In addition, 4D ultrasound creates a living film like effect and how your child moves, yawns, laughs, etc. you can follow. In addition to allowing parents to see their child’s appearance in more detail for the first time, these ultrasound techniques are sometimes used by doctors to check for birth defects. cleft palate that cannot be detected on routine ultrasound. [6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

Diagnostic ultrasound

Diagnostic ultrasounds are used in medicine to look inside the body to see if something is wrong. Therefore, they are mainly used finding the cause of certain problemsfor example, unexplained abdominal pain, abnormal blood results, the appearance of a ball in the body, etc.

In most of these examinations, a probe is placed the surface of your skin, but in some cases vaginal or rectal insertion may be necessary. The type of diagnostic ultrasound depends on the details of your specific case. Most often, the following examinations are performed:

  • Abdominal ultrasound: this type of ultrasound can detect many causes of abdominal pain, such as liver ultrasound, etc.
  • Breast ultrasound: usually used to identify lumps in the breast, which is recommended for women, for example, if there is an abnormal finding on a mammogram.
  • Pelvic ultrasound: ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs is performed to examine the organs located in the lower part of the abdomen. This usually includes an ultrasound of the bladder, an ultrasound of the prostate, and an ultrasound of the ovaries and uterus. It can also happen transvaginally.
  • Kidney ultrasound: tumors, cysts, infections, etc. in or around the kidneys. An ultrasound examination of the kidneys may be required to assess their size, shape, and location of the kidneys and related organs (eg, bladder, etc.) to detect them.
  • Ultrasound of the thyroid gland: this type of examination is mainly used to assess the size of the thyroid gland and to detect nodules or lesions. [11, 12, 13]

Ultrasound guidance for procedures

Doctors sometimes use an ultrasound machine to accurately perform certain medical procedures. Among the common procedures in which this type of ultrasound is applied, for example, biopsy and guiding the needle to collect the sample tissues or fluids from these tissues, such as:

  • tendons,
  • joints,
  • muscles,
  • cysts or fluid accumulation,
  • soft tissue masses,
  • organs (liver, kidney or prostate),
  • transplanted organs (liver, kidney or pancreas). [14, 15, 16]

Ultrasound rehabilitation

It is called ultrasound rehabilitation also sonotherapy. Ultrasound performs micromassage on the tissues and simultaneously heats the surrounding tissues. is used as u chronic and acute conditions, mainly to nourish tissues, reduce tension and also spasms. Therapeutically, it is usually indicated for post-traumatic conditions, swellings and hematomas, chronic inflammatory diseases of the joints and other degenerative diseases. [17, 18]

Is ultrasound safe?

All studies to date have shown that ultrasound is safe with no harmful side effects. Unlike other examination methods such as CT or X-ray examination, i.e does not use radiation.

This is the reason why it is used during examinations during pregnancy. However, the examination should always be performed by a qualified healthcare professional trained in the safe use of this technology. If you’re thinking about getting an ultrasound at home, check with your doctor first. [19, 20]

Sources: webmd.com, my.clevelandclinic.org, gyncare.cz, sciencedirect.com, edu.techmania.cz, atodamedical.cz, healthline.com, nemocniceostravavitkovice.agel.cz, fyziocentrum.cz, centrumfyzioterapiec.cz. org, homolka.cz

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