What is a Sonogram in Baby Imaging?

Ultrasounds are standard medical protocol for anyone who is pregnant. Not only does a 2D Ultrasound allow a medical professional to take a much-needed look at the developing baby, it allows parents-to-be a first glimpse of the expected bundle of joy, making it as exciting as it is necessary.

The 2d standard ultrasounds rely on sound waves that are “bounced” off of objects inside of the mother-to-be to produce an image of the growing fetus.

It is important to have an ultrasound early on in the pregnancy. In fact, most healthcare providers perform standard ultrasounds during the first trimester of pregnancy. During these first months of pregnancy, the ultrasound is used to estimate the number of weeks left in the pregnancy, or the baby’s expected due date. And, somewhere around 10-13 weeks of pregnancy, a second ultrasound may be recommended so medical professionals can view the baby’s brain and spinal cord development.

Oftentimes, an ultrasound is again performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. It is routine and is this time the ultrasound is used to gauge the baby’s size and growth and to again monitor any problems.

And, don’t be surprised if your healthcare provider performs another 2-d ultrasound during the final trimester of the pregnancy. This ultrasound checks the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, as well as again gauging the baby’s size, movement and overall sense of well-being.

2-d ultrasounds are considered to be level 1. Oftentimes, if complications or birth defects are suspected, or if a healthcare provider has reason to believe the mother-to-be or the unborn child are at risk, a 3-d ultrasound will be performed. Unlike the level 1 or 2d ultrasound, the 3-d ultrasound provides a three-dimensional image and can be useful for clarifying suspicions early on.

What should I do before the ultrasound or Sonogram appointment? 

The days before, drink lots of water so you remain hydrated. On the day of the appointment eat and drink normally since you don’t need a full bladder. About 30 minutes before the appointment, you can drink a glass of fruit juice (unless your physician says otherwise) and this will often get the baby to wake up for your ultrasound.

When is the best time to have an ultrasound done? 

The answer to this depends on what you want to see. Many expecting mothers come in twice – earlier on for gender (between 16-25 weeks), and later (between 25-33 weeks) for more detailed facial features. Between 12 to 25 weeks, the baby is less developed, but has more room to move.

You can also see more of the baby on the sonogram screen at one time. We can determine the gender beginning at week 16. Between 26 and 33 weeks, your baby is developing fat and the facial features become more clear. Please be aware when the baby is older than 33 weeks, 3D/4D imaging sometimes becomes more difficult.

During this later developmental stage, if the baby is positioned poorly for imaging, there is less room for the baby to move out of that position and face outward. However, every baby is different and we have obtained great images all the way up to full term. Please feel free to call us and we can tell you at what stage your baby is in and you can tell us what you want to see.

Portable Ultrasound – Technology, Convenience, Capability All In One

Small, packed with capability, completely portable and affordable. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s the portable ultrasound and this small machine that relies on sound waves to produce images from inside the body is sending shock waves through the medical community by producing surprisingly good-quality images.

Perfect for undersized medical settings, such as an ambulance or helicopter, these small units boasts large capabilities. Even so, they are not yet advanced enough to replace the larger units that currently reside in most hospitals, but instead can act as a backup or perhaps a supplemental unit that can be tapped into during an emergency, in the field, or as a traveling unit that can be taken into rural settings where ultrasound technology may otherwise not be available.

And the scaled down price point of the portable ultrasound machine makes it even more attractive, costing approximately $20,000 to $26,000 per unit for the smaller, battery-powered, roughly six-pound unit. Add to this the fact that many of the procedures performed on the conventional larger-scale ultrasound units can be successfully performed on the portable unit and that the price difference is anywhere from a whopping $130,000 to $170,000, and the arguments for purchasing one of the portable units starts to make sense.

There are also other battery-powered portable ultrasounds that rely on array technology. These costs approximately $11,000 and meet the needs of cardiologists and obstetricians specifically.

Ultrasound equipment can be quite expensive. The good news is that there are now many companies on the Web (and off) that provide quality pre-owned or refurbished supplies and accessories for an ultrasound machine at more reasonable costs.

Replacement parts such as probes and transducers can cost into the thousands (a used Acuson Bi-Plane Transesophageal Probe is nearly $8,000), so shopping around for ultrasound equipment and accessories pays off. Other probes, endocavity probes and transophageal probes are available on various Websites at varying costs and some are offered for an exchange sale on the ultrasound equipment. Doppler probes and transducers are also available at a wide range of costs, as well as for exchange sales.

When shopping around for equipment for your ultrasound machine, you may find it beneficial to look to some of the major manufacturers websites  and make note of the prices for the new pieces of equipment you are looking to purchase.

Simple ultrasound supplies such as gel do not vary much in price; however, some ultrasound equipment and accessory sellers and re sellers do offer such supplies with the purchase of equipment, some at no charge and some for nominal fees.

Be sure that when buying a refurbished used ultrasound system, accessories and supplies that you get warranty/guarantee information in writing, along with any service agreements that may be in affect.

Can a Sonogram be used For  Pain and Healing

Would you consider buying or even renting ultrasound equipment for home personal use? Most people find themselves in physical therapist office, a doctor’s or a chiropractic office receiving ultrasonic treatment after an injury such as strains, sprains, muscle spasms, or muscle pulls. Sadly, very few people understand what is being done on them and why ultrasonography technology is being used, sometimes, although rarely, even the people administering this ultrasound treatment don’t understand. For an acute condition, this ultrasonic treatment is only a temporary measure without any long term indication. However, a chronic condition could call for ownership of an ultrasound unit to ensure treatment continues for as long as possible until recovery.

Here is a short description of exactly what happens, why, how, and the kind of ultrasound equipment to get. You might prefer renting an ultrasound unit instead of returning to the hospital or clinic. An ultrasound unit is made in such a way that it can produce sound waves that emit heat in a single mode and in a different mode cause a physiological change on a cellular level. Well, this sounds good but what exactly does it mean? What happens if you take your hands and rub them together rapidly? Of course the friction will generate heat. The same kind of physiological happening occurs when ultrasound units are used on patients, except on a more deep level within the structure under scrutiny such as lower back, elbow, leg, abdomen, etc.

Ultrasonic energy created moves the cells back and forth deep inside the body tissues to generate heat. This heat flows causing important therapeutic benefits like increased blood flow which will mostly reduce pain in the process of treatment and for some carryover or residual pain relief for post treatment. The ultrasonic unit frequency, if at all is selectable, helps in determining how deep the mechanical action takes place. For superficial body parts like elbows, knuckles, and ankles, deep penetration isn’t needed.

Most ultrasound units can be set on some ‘pulse’ mode whereby the unit turns itself on and off automatically. This is applicable mostly on a continuous treatment situation where the machine is on most of the time and the molecules are always moving. However, when set on ‘pulsed’, it can go on for short periods of time like 20% of the entire time the continuous treatment should take place. Basically, what happens is that the ultrasound treatment is administered to the area of treatment for a short period of time, turned off and later gets on for a short burst of energy. This pulse mode however does not emit any form of heat.

Most ultrasound treatments however happen on the continuous mode because the treatments are always initiated with the expected effects of emitting sufficient heat within the affected body parts. This continuous mode isn’t indicated in a case of acute injury which may have happened within 24-48 hours because during such a time, the body is always in an inflammatory stage and extra heat will be useless in healing. On the contrary, it might irritate the affected body part.

 

 

 

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