The ultrasound, in addition to nearly every technology nowadays, has evolved so dramatically. Not only is it more compact and easier to transport, but an ultrasound can see much more in depth than before. What exactly does an ultrasound look for, as opposed to other forms of x-rays? An ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to form an image of the particular body part it is examining. This procedure tends to be safer than a typically x-ray because no form of radiation is used. Ultrasounds are used to detect problems in the heart, liver or kidneys, see the growth of a fetus, and guide surgeons when performing a biopsy.
HistoryThe first device used most similarly to a current day ultrasound was developed in 1917 by Paul Langevin. His device was used during World War I to detect submerged submarines. The ultrasound didn’t start being used for medical purposes until the 1920s and 30s. It was first used for physical therapy, particularly on athletes. By the 1940s, the ultrasound was used for nearly everything ranging from arthritic pain to gastric ulcers.According to Don Baker, the 1970s were referred to as the Sonic Boom. The pulsed Dopler and 2D echo were introduced. The 1980s featured a major breakthrough for ultrasound technology. Real-time ultrasounds were introduced. The 1990s featured even more advanced technology by stepping up to 3D than up to 4D technology.How does it work?The procedure is very safe and painless. Depending on what you are getting an ultrasound for you may feel some discomfort. In order to get effective pictures of a woman’s uterus, the transducer may be used internally. To get detailed images of a person’s heart, the transducer can be used either external or internal. For internal use, the transducer is inserted through the esophagus to get a more detailed view of the person’s heart. Typically, an ultrasound is going to be used externally which causes very little discomfort. Ultrasounds usually only take about 20 to 30 minutes. Drink plenty of water prior to having an ultrasound. Being hydrated may improve the quality of the picture.3D versus 4DIn simple terms, 3D is a complete three-dimensional picture of the body part the ultrasound is examining. 4D is a rotating complete three-dimensional picture that is happening in real-time. 3D ultrasounds are slightly delayed due to the lag with the computer constructed image. 2D ultrasounds are still available, but it is preferred to use 3D or 4D because the scans are more detailed.If you are in need of an ultrasound for whatever medical reasons consider the options of both a 3D and 4D scans. Desert Radiology Las Vegas can provide helpful advice to those with questions regarding the different types of ultrasounds. A frequent question would be the cost variation between a 3D and 4D scan. Steinberg Radiology Las Vegas accepts most insurance companies in addition to offering payment plans, if necessary. For more information about the different types of ultrasounds or to schedule an appointment, contact Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging Las Vegas at 702.732.6000.