Radiology

Ultrasound

Ultrasound
Ultrasound
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What is ultrasound?

What should you do prior to the exam?

What should you do when you arrive?

What should you expect during the exam?

What should you do after the exam?

Test results

What is ultrasound?

Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of the organs and soft tissues inside the body. These sound waves echo from the body to create an image in a computer. The human ear cannot hear these echoes, so a special wand called a transducer is used.

The ultrasound machine looks like a large computer on wheels. The transducer is attached to the machine. The images are viewed live and continually on the computer screen. While viewing the images live, the Ultrasound Technologist will take a series of "static" or still images or pictures, to send to the radiologist (x-ray doctor) to read.

What should you do prior to the exam (preparations)?

There are different preparations to follow, according to your child's age and the part of the body being examined. Please pay close attention to the following instructions:

Abdomen (Complete or Limited Exam)

Your child cannot have anything to eat or drink before the study. The number of hours that your child cannot eat depends on their age. The times are as follows:

Renal, Bladder, and Pelvic Exam

There are no food restrictions prior to the exam. Your child must have a full bladder in order for the exam to be performed. Feed or have them drink as follows:

Hip Exam

Restrictions for children ages 2 weeks to 6 months (does not apply to follow up hip study)

There are no special preparations needed for the following exams:

Dress your child comfortably, in clothes that are easily removed. Your child may be given a gown to change into for the procedure.

Your child will be lying down on a bed while having the ultrasound. You may want to bring a stuffed animal or special blanket for your child to hold during the exam.

Note: Parents will be allowed to accompany the child into the exam room. It may be helpful to make other arrangements for siblings.

If you have copies of your child's previous imaging studies from another institution, please bring them for comparison.

What should you do when you arrive for the exam?

If your appointment is scheduled at the Main Hospital:

You must check in to Outpatient Registration, on the third floor of the Main Hospital, 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs.

The law requires that you bring a prescription from your doctor's office stating the exam to be done and the reason for it.

If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.

Once the registration process is completed, the Ultrasound Department will be notified. An Ultrasound Technologist will come out to the central registration area and bring you and your child to the Ultrasound exam room.

If your appointment is scheduled at the Pediatric Imaging Center at King of Prussia:

You must check in at the main registration desk, located in the main waiting room, 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This is where your registration process occurs.

The law requires that you bring a prescription from your doctor's office stating the exam to be done and the reason for it.

If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.

Once the registration process is completed, you will be directed to the Radiology waiting room. The Ultrasound Technologist will be notified and will come out and bring you and your child to the Ultrasound exam room.

What should you expect during the exam?

The technologist will ask why the ultrasound is being done and explain the procedure to you and your child. Depending on the part of the body being examined, the technologist may ask your child to change into a gown, or remove clothing so that the area to be examined is exposed. The technologist will then ask your child to lie on the exam bed and, if needed, will give your child a towel or blanket to keep warm. Then the technologist will turn off the lights in the room. This will make the pictures on the computer screen easier to see.

The technologist will put a warm lotion on the transducer and also on the part of your child's body that is going to have the ultrasound. The lotion is clear, easily removable with water, and does not stain clothing. The technologist will glide the transducer over the parts of the body that the doctor wants to see. If your child wants to have special "see-through" vision of their body, he/she can look at the images on the computer screen.

An ultrasound, or sound wave, is painless. Your child will feel the transducer and the lotion slide around on the area being examined. The lotion used is like a "tickle jelly" that might make your child laugh a little.

The images that are sent to the radiologist are a sampling of "static" images. After reviewing them, the radiologist may want to perform the ultrasound exam themselves briefly, to view the area being studied live or in real time.

Most ultrasound exams take approximately 30 minutes.

Child Life Specialists are available to answer questions you might have about how to prepare and support your child during the procedure. A child life specialist can also be present at the time of your child's appointment to explain the procedure in developmentally appropriate ways using well established preparation materials. The specialist can also be available to help implement distraction techniques to help your child better cope with the stress of the hospital experience. Please call 215-590-2001 or click the link above for more information. If your child's procedure is scheduled for the Pediatric Imaging Center at King of Prussia, you can call the Child Life Specialist directly at 215-590-3069.

What should you do after the exam?

There are no special instructions for your child to follow upon completion of this procedure.

Test results

The images from your child's exam are interpreted on the same day and a report is sent to your physician's office.

If your physician has any questions regarding the report, he/she may call 215-590-2584.

Here is an example of what your child's exam may look like. »

 

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CHOP is recognized by the American College of Radiology’s Ultrasound Accreditation Program for our commitment to safe imaging practices in ultrasound.