Learning Resources

Type of ultrasound

Most ultrasounds are done using a transducer on the surface of the skin. Sometimes, however, doctors and technicians can get a better diagnostic image by inserting a special transducer into one of the body's natural openings:

  • In a transvaginal ultrasound, a transducer wand is placed in a woman’s vagina to get better images of her uterus and ovaries.
  • A transrectal ultrasound is sometimes used in the diagnosis of prostate conditions.
  • A transesophageal echocardiogram uses the transducer probe in the esophagus so that the sonographer can obtain clearer images of the heart.


Additionally, ultrasound technology has advanced to allow for different types of imaging:

  • Doppler is a special type of ultrasound that creates images of blood flow through vessels.
  • Bone sonography helps doctors diagnose osteoporosis.
  • Echocardiograms are used to view the heart.
  • 3D imaging adds another dimension to the ultrasound image, creating three-dimensional interpretations rather than the flat two-dimensional images that are made with traditional ultrasound.
  • 4D ultrasounds show 3D images in motion.

 

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