Ultrasound uses sound waves to take pictures of structures inside the body. These sound waves echo from the body to create a picture on a computer screen. The human ear cannot hear these sound wave echoes, so a special camera called a transducer is used to take pictures.
Prior to the exam:
There are different preparations to follow, depending on your child's age and the part of the body being examined.
If your child is an infant and drinks from a bottle, it is a good idea to bring a bottle for him. Also, bring a pacifier or special toy to help calm your child. For older children, it is a good idea to bring books or electronic games to occupy them while waiting. Your child will need to lie fairly still on the table during the ultrasound test, so it is a good idea to bring a favorite DVD to watch. If you forget, we have a large selection of movies and an iPad for games. If you have other children with you, please bring an adult to watch them.
Dress your child in comfortable clothing with no metal objects such as zippers or snaps. Remove any jewelry as well.
When you arrive:
Once the registration process is completed, a technologist will greet you and escort you to the US examination room.
During the exam:
The rooms are fairly dark so that we can see the screen (like a movie theater). Your child will lie on a soft table. The sonographer will place warm lotion onto your child's body. The lotion is clear and easily removable. The sonographer will slide the transducer across the part of the body being examined and take pictures. Sometimes during ultrasound, the doctor (radiologist) comes in and takes pictures too.
The ultrasound exam does not hurt and ultrasound waves will not harm your child. The tests may take 30 minutes or longer.
Parents are encouraged to stay with their child during the test. Have your child wear loose clothing.
After the exam:
There are no special instructions for after the exam.
The images from your child's exam are interpreted by a pediatric radiologist and a report is sent to your physician's office.
If your physician has any questions regarding the report, he/she may call 205-638-9730
Question or concern about your child's exam?