Wake Radiology routinely utilizes state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment, which allows for the production of high-quality images for medical diagnosis over a wide range of anatomical areas and clinical indications, including abdominal, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular, musculoskeletal, and other soft tissues of the body.
A diagnostic ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging technique that sends high-frequency sound waves into the body to produce images of soft tissues and internal organs. Ultrasound enables the radiologist to make an accurate diagnosis of numerous medical conditions and diseases without the use of surgery or radiation by providing a clear window into the human body.
The unique breadth and depth of Wake Radiology’s breast imaging expertise allows us to offer a full spectrum of breast imaging services, from 3D screening and diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound and Breast MRI to three types of image-guided breast biopsy. All breast images are taken by certified technologists and interpreted by board-certified radiologists. In fact, Wake Radiology has established a team of physicians who have expertise in mammography.
How an Ultrasound is Performed
The ultrasound procedure involves passing a device called a transducer over the skin of the area to be examined. A series of images are produced and analyzed by an experienced radiologist. Wake Radiology routinely utilizes state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment, which allows for the production of high-quality images for medical diagnosis over a wide range of anatomical areas and clinical indications, including abdominal, obstetrics and gynecology, vascular, musculoskeletal, and other soft tissues of the body. Each location where ultrasound services are offered is accredited by the American College of Radiology. Our diagnostic medical sonographers are highly skilled professionals who have earned and who maintain their certification with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.
Scheduling & Reports
Appointments are usually scheduled in advance. However, we will always try to accommodate patients in need of an urgent exam on the day it is requested. Exam results are faxed to the referring physician within 24 hours of the study, or conveyed to your health care provider immediately, if requested, by telephone. Images and exam results are also readily available for viewing by your health care provider through access to our Wake Radiology PACS.
Common Ultrasound Studies
Abdominal ultrasound examinations may be ordered for the patient with abdominal pain, abnormal laboratory tests, as follow-up to other types of imaging tests, for evaluation of the aorta for aneurysm, or a variety of other symptoms and indications. Color doppler imaging may also be used during an abdominal ultrasound exam to assess blood flow in the major blood vessels and to the various abdominal organs. The complete abdominal ultrasound includes a thorough survey of the following abdominal organs and related structures:
- Bile ducts
The right upper quadrant ultrasound may be ordered to target the following structures:
- Bile ducts
- Right kidney
The retroperitoneal ultrasound may be ordered to target the following structures:
- Aorta and Inferior Vena Cava
Obstetrics & Gynecology
High-resolution diagnostic ultrasound assists the physician in the evaluation of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and related anatomy. Color doppler imaging may be used during a pelvic ultrasound exam to assess blood flow in pelvic organs and structures.
Ultrasound may be performed during any stage of pregnancy. In early pregnancy, ultrasound is used to determine fetal age and viability. In the second and third trimesters, ultrasound is used to evaluate the fetus, monitor fetal growth and position, check amniotic fluid, survey the placental location, etc.
When conventional (i.e., transabdominal) scanning of the pelvis does not provide sufficient diagnostic information, your health care provider may request that an endovaginal ultrasound examination be performed immediately afterwards in order to more accurately assess the pelvic organs. However, on occasion, a dedicated endovaginal ultrasound examination may be all that is necessary. The endovaginal transducer usually allows for better visualization of the uterus/cervix, ovaries, and adjacent structures because it is only inches away from the organs that are being evaluated. The endovaginal transducer is commonly used in early pregnancy to detect fetal heart motion and to aid in the detection of ectopic pregnancies.
The following superficial structures are grouped into the category of “small parts” exams. Color doppler is often used in small parts exams to assess blood flow.
- Breast: Ultrasound evaluation of the breast may be performed to resolve a specific question by mammography or to evaluate an abnormality detected by the patient or the patient’s health care provider on physical exam.
- Popliteal Fossa: An ultrasound exam of the posterior aspect of the knee may be performed to identify a Baker’s cyst or popliteal artery aneurysm.
- Scrotum: Ultrasound and color doppler ultrasound are commonly used in assessing a painful testicle, testicular mass, varicocele, or scrotal enlargement.
- Thyroid: An ultrasound exam of the thyroid may be requested for an enlarged thyroid gland, a thyroid mass, or laboratory tests indicating abnormal thyroid function.
- Shoulder: An ultrasound exam of the shoulder may be performed to assist in the diagnosis of a rotator cuff tear.
- Tendons: Tendons may be examined by ultrasound to determine the extent of tendon injuries.
- Pediatric Hips: An ultrasound exam may be performed to evaluate infant hips for dislocation. See pediatric ultrasound procedures.
- Soft Tissue: An ultrasound exam may be performed to identify a soft tissue mass or foreign body.
- Spinal Sonography: Screening for spinal cord abnormalities in newborn infants.
- Neonatal Echoencephalography: An ultrasound exam of the neonatal brain may be performed to identify neonatal hemorrhage, hydrocephalus, and other major structure abnormalities.
Vascular Color Doppler Procedures
High-resolution color doppler permits accurate noninvasive evaluation of a wide variety of blood vessels, but most commonly the carotid arteries in the neck and the veins of the lower extremities. Color doppler allows the medical sonographer to clearly document blood flow within vessels, providing a “window” of opportunity to make an accurate diagnosis faster. This color imaging capability combines a conventional black and white ultrasound image of internal structures with blood flow information derived from the Doppler effect superimposed upon it. Vascular procedures routinely performed at Wake Radiology include:
- Carotid Doppler
- Peripheral Venous Doppler of the lower extremities
- Peripheral Venous Doppler of the upper extremities
- Venous insufficiency Doppler
- Evaluation of Erectile Dysfunction
Other vascular ultrasound applications at Wake Radiology
In addition to evaluating larger blood vessels, color Doppler evaluation of other structures (e.g., breast, testicle, thyroid, ovaries, etc.) significantly increases the diagnostic information available to the radiologist because it allows blood flow to be characterized in arteries and veins that are too small to visualize with the conventional ultrasound imaging alone.
Accurate Diagnosis without Radiation
Ultrasound enables the radiologist to make an accurate diagnosis of numerous medical conditions and diseases without the use of surgery or radiation by providing a clear window into the human body.
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