For the last few weeks, we’ve been answering some of the common questions people have about radiology, such as why is an MRI machine so noisy or what’s the difference between digital X-ray and film X-ray or what is a “slice” in a CT scan? This week, we’ll look at some common questions about ultrasound, also known as sonography.

What is ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a painless and safe test that uses high-frequency sound waves to allow healthcare practitioners to see organs, tissues and blood flow in the body.

Does it hurt?
Not at all! An ultrasound is painless and non-invasive.
Will I feel the sound waves?
No. The sound waves produced by an ultrasound can’t be heard or felt.

Is there any radiation involved?
No. An ultrasound uses only sound waves, not radiation (like CT) or magnets (like MRI).

What is ultrasound useful for?
Ultrasound is routinely used during pregnancy to see the development of the baby, but  can also help evaluate internal organs (such as the heart, kidneys, liver, bladder, heart, thyroid, ovaries, and uterus) and blood flow.

Are there any adverse effects from having an ultrasound exam?
There are no known adverse effects from ultrasound. For that reason, you can safely have repeat scans.

Do you have any questions about MRI, CT, X-rayUltrasound or other scanning machines? Feel free to email us with your questions!