What is an Ultrasound scan?
An ultrasound scan, sometimes called a sonogram, is a procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body, such as the heart.
What is an ultrasound & what are they used for?
Ultrasound scans are commonly used during pregnancy to produce images of the baby in the womb. They can also be used to:
- Detect heart problems
- Examine other parts of the body such as the liver, kidneys & abdomen
- Help guiding a surgeon performing some types of biopsy
A small device called an ultrasound probe is used, which gives off high-frequency sound waves. You can't hear these sound waves, but when they bounce off different parts of the body, they create "echoes" that are picked up by the probe & turned into a moving image. This image is displayed on a monitor while the scan is carried out. As sound waves are used rather than radiation, the procedure is safe.
Relevant Edinburgh Imaging publications