To many people an utrasound machine appears to be a work of science fiction. Others consider these machines to be far too complex to understand. Yet, there are those individuals who find that ultrasound equipment is extremely useful in many different settings. There are also profits that can be made when buying, trading or selling ultrasound machines.
Times Change and Ultrasound Technology is Keeping Pace
X-rays are still very important in health care, but these images are very limited in their scope and diagnostic abilities. It is the ultrasound that first began to change the way a physician could accurately diagnose specific diseases and conditions.
While the technology continues to be upgraded the basic function of an ultrasound remains essential unchanged. Ultrasound consists of a battery of sound waves. These waves can produce images that allow body organs and tissues to be examined.
The images obtained by ultrasound exams are transmitted to a a monitor screen. These pictures may appear strangely distorted to the uneducated eye. A sonographer can point identifying landmarks and help the patient understand what is being shown on the screen. Physicians and other trained health professionals can then view the images and identify any problems or unusual conditions that are taking place on the inside of the body.
Ultrasound Equipment Continues to Prove Valuable as Diagnostic Tools
Ultrasound equipment is one of the primary methods that doctors use when diagnosing a health problem. With these machines the inner organs and blood vessels can be viewed easily. Conditions such as arterial blockages affecting the heart; pregnancy; diverticulitis; gall bladder inflammation and blood clots can be diagnosed in a matter of minutes.
Today many physicians will use ultrasound technology to collect images of an unborn fetus. The use of an ultrasound machine is considered to be a very safe diagnostic tool for an obstetrician to use with pregnant patients.
These images let the doctor determine if there are any health problems that need to be urgently addressed. Some of the conditions that an ultrasound exam can reveal include spina bifida, malformed heart vessels or hydrocephalus. Obstetricians also use ultrasounds to confirm the presence of more than one fetus. Even a false pregnancy can be confirmed with the use of an ultrasound exam.
There are some specific ultrasound machines that even allow health professionals to obtain more detailed views of certain organs. With specialized transducers the images can be obtained from inside the throat or rectum.
Jan E. Passale is an OB/RN. She has worked with ultrasound equipment for more than fifteen years. Her goal is to help educate patients and consumers about the versatility and practicality of these machines.