Iowa Specialty Hospital

Radiology & Imaging: Ultrasound

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'Seeing' Sound Waves... 

Ultrasound is the examination of the internal organs using high-frequency sound waves. If a Doppler ultrasound is performed, the doctor is able to see blood flow in major blood vessels.

Ultrasounds produce real-time images of soft tissue and can capture movement of internal organs. Therefore, it is used to visualize and diagnose problems inside the abdominal cavity.

A diagnostic ultrasound is most often performed for the following reasons:

  • To diagnose an injury or disease of the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, or organs inside the abdomen

  • To help determine the cause of abdominal pain

  • To identify gallbladder or kidney stones

  • To assess for tumors, cysts, abscesses, or other masses in the abdominal organs

  • To help determine why an internal organ is enlarged

  • To examine a pregnant uterus and the fetus within

  • To evaluate the aorta for the presence of an aneurysm

  • To assess a spleen injury

  • To evaluate liver disease or pancreatitis

  • To locate a foreign object in the abdomen, such as a bullet

  • To identify abdominal/uterine bleeding

  • To examine enlarged thyroid/goiter

  • To determine cause of abnormal lab values

An ultrasound is not invasive and not painful. An ultrasound can take 30-60 minutes.

For more information, please visit our Locations and Hours page for contact information.

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