Anultrasound procedure is a diagnostic technique used in the assessmentof soft tissue structures through a noninvasive process. It usessound waves to yield pictures depicting the situation within the bodythrough a painless and safe process. It is also referred to assonography. An ultrasound gel and a small transducer are placedbeneath the skin. The gel allows for the transmission ofhigh-frequency waves from the transducer. Images are developed fromthe sound waves using a computer after sounds have been collected bythe transducer once they bounce off. The patient is not exposed toradiation as ionizing radiations are not utilized in sonography. Thecapture of real-time images provides for the visibility of internalorgans and blood flow (Ahmed etal.,2014).
Breastultrasound offers additional benefits in comparison to magneticresonance imaging (MRI) and mammograms. The regions close to thechest wall of the breast can easily be seen as opposed to the use ofa mammogram. An ultrasound is also used to cross check abnormalresults obtained from a mammogram. It adds vital information to theresults of MRIs and mammograms thereby further characterizing theprospective abnormalities. All breast cancers cannot be detectedusing mammograms. Some abnormalities and lesions on the breast cannotbe seen using mammograms hence challenging to interpret. Detection ofcancers in dense breasts is hard using mammography hence the need foran ultrasound. Even though the sensitivity of MRI is high as comparedto that of ultrasound, characterization and biopsy of abnormalitiesmay still be conducted using ultrasound (Volders etal.,2016). Ultrasound is available to all women as opposed to MRI, whichtargets women with a genetic and familial risk for breast cancer.
Thereare various sonographic differences between the breast tissue andother tissues. In the healthy breast, the hypoechoic fat surroundsthe echogenic fibro glandular parenchyma. Some of the abnormalappearances in the breast tissues include cysts and chronic abscess.Breast cysts appear as anechoic structures which are well-definedwith either round or oval shapes with thin walls. Cysts are regardedas complex when debris such as blood or pus are present. For the caseof a chronic abscess, one may observe a well-defined or ill-definedoutline. Sonography of the normal thyroid tissue reveals thesurrounding muscles to be of lower echogenicity. The tissue planescan easily be identified. The thyroid gland is impartiallysuperficial and responsive to ultrasound consideration. Hence it’spossible to assess the size of the gland and determine the presenceof solid tumors or cystic portions within the thyroid lumps. Testicletissue can also be evaluated using ultrasound especially indetermining the distinction between epidymo-orchitis and thetesticular torsion. This process can be done when examining forinfertility or other malignancies (Volders etal.,2016). The ultrasound can be broadly applied in the examination ofother tissues in the body apart from the ones mentioned above.
Insummary, it’s justified to say that sonography is a safe andnon-invasive technique which requires no special preparations.Furthermore, ionizing radiations are not used.
Ahmed,M., Abdullah, N., Cawthorn, S., Usiskin, S. I., & Douek, M.(2014). Why should breast surgeons use ultrasound? Breastcancer research and treatment,145(1),1-4.
Volders,J. H., Haloua, M. H., Krekel, N. M., Meijer, S., & van den Tol,P. M. (2016). Current status of ultrasound-guided surgery in thetreatment of breast cancer. Worldjournal of clinical oncology,7(1),44.