An ultrasound is an imaging method commonly used to diagnose a variety of health conditions. Duck Lim, MD, a specialist in internal medicine with Valley Medical Center: Duck Lim, MD, in Granada Hills, California, offers ultrasounds in an office that caters to Spanish-speaking and Korean patients. If you think you have a condition that requires a reasonably priced diagnostic ultrasound, call or schedule a consultation online today and take a step on the path to educating yourself about your health and wellness.
An ultrasound is a safe imaging method. By sending pulses of high-frequency sound waves, an ultrasound constructs images of your veins, organs, and other structures inside your body. A Doppler ultrasound is slightly different in that it uses a continuous sound wave.
Inside your body, healthy tissue and organs are made up of different acoustic properties than abnormal tissues and organs. When an abnormality appears on an ultrasound, the image it creates will look different than a normal, healthy body part. This difference will tell Dr. Lim whether you may have a condition or disease that requires treatment.
Ultrasounds can diagnose a variety of health conditions — with certain limits. For example, bone and air can block sound waves, so ultrasounds don’t work well on areas of your body that are surrounded by bone, such as your head and lungs.
An ultrasound typically involves a probe used outside your body, but sometimes it’s used internally too. An ultrasound can:
A Doppler ultrasound can look at blood flow in your vessels, arteries, and veins in your abdomen, heart, and other regions. This type of scan is useful in diagnosing internal health problems, including blood clots, bulging arteries, narrowing in your arteries, and problems with blood flow to and from your liver.
Most ultrasounds don’t call for specific preparation, beyond wearing loose clothing and removing your jewelry. However, with some scans, such as a gallbladder ultrasound, you may need to avoid eating or drinking for up to six hours prior to your appointment.
To begin the ultrasound, Dr. Lim applies a water-based gel to the area being scanned to prevent air pockets that can block sound waves. He presses the ultrasound device, called a transducer, against your skin. The transducer captures sound waves and sends them to a computer, which then creates images that you might be able to view on a monitor in the exam room.
In some cases, Dr. Lim needs to see certain areas inside your body, so he uses a transducer that’s meant to be inserted internally. For example, a transesophageal echocardiogram requires an internal transducer probe. In this case, the transducer goes into your esophagus to create images of your heart. You’ll typically be sedated for this type of scan.
If you think you might have a health condition and would benefit from an ultrasound, call or schedule a consultation online today with Dr. Lim and empower yourself with knowledge about your health.