Introduction to Ultrasound Machine & How Does It Work?

This entry was posted in Ultrasound Technology on by .

Thanks to advances in medical technology, hundreds of ultrasound machines exist in the market with varying features and services. When a facility considers buying a refurbished machine, it must factor in the price differences with a system’s long-term performance.

An ultrasound scan is a noninvasive process by which sound waves generate an image of organs within the human body. High-frequency sound waves can bounce off soft tissues and be used to render the area of examination. Other procedures may use radiation for the same result. The process is straightforward; an ultrasound technician (also called a sonographer) will apply gel to the designated area, then use a transducer to direct the soundwaves to the part of the organ to get a full scan and an examination. Usually, an ultrasound exam takes a few minutes at most.

Once the sonographer has the imaging, they forward it to a radiologist to analyze the sonograms. They can identify organ anomalies, and the radiologist’s results will help the primary doctor determine an appropriate course of treatment for the patient.

Types Of Ultrasounds

  • Bone density – Both men and women are likely to develop osteoporosis as they age and to lose bone mass gradually. While this process is natural, extreme bone loss can lead to further health complications in some cases. A bone density ultrasound can monitor the rate of bone loss or strength.
  • Doppler Ultrasound – Patients may need their blood vessels and flow monitored regularly. A Doppler ultrasound bounces high-frequency waves off moving blood cells and generates images based on those results. It is different from general ultrasounds, which cannot monitor blood flow owing to the amount of movement.
  • Therapeutic – In some cases, ultrasounds can be used in physical therapy to help a recovering patient. They apply large amounts of heat to an area with soft tissues; these regions can include muscles or ligaments that are stiff or frozen. Ultrasounds can improve the body’s range of motion after a severe accident or surgery.

These 3 ultrasound machines can help you determine which a good fit for your clinic are:

  • Veterinary- Veterinary machines are designed for animal patients. Depending on the species, their bodies are smaller, meaning their organs are tinier, so the exams need to be more accurate. With larger animals such as livestock, you need machines that can support their body size and account for varying organ differences.
  • Vascular And Echocardiography- Vascular machines focus on examining heart health in a patient. The exam uses high-frequency sound waves to generate an image of the heart using echoes. Such images reveal the state of blood vessels, valves, and arteries. One can detect potential murmurs or even unwanted clotting.

How Does An Ultrasound Machine Work? 

During an exam, the doctor or technician on staff will sit a patient on an examining table. They will put ultrasound gel on the area that they intend to examine. For checking a larger organ, such as the uterus, there may be a large amount of gel. A small organ like the thyroid may require a tinier amount. The gel removes air between the transducer and the patient, which allows the soundwaves to render a more accurate image through the body, accounting for bone.

Waves go between the transducer and the area they are examining, while a separate LED, or LCD screen will display the assembled image. Often the body area, and the bone structure, will determine a baseline for the organ that doctors are examining. Medical staff will send the exam images to a radiologist, who will examine them and diagnose them. A radiologist will take a few days to review the results and send their findings, as they have to regularly examine hundreds, if not thousands, of images. Patients should wear loose, comfortable clothing and leave jewelry at home. The procedure may be as short as a few minutes.