Ultrasound Imaging (Sonography)


This lets a doctor see inside your body. Sound waves are used to create images of organs and soft tissues. It's helpful for a wide range of medical issues and procedures.

How it works

Ultrasound imaging is done with a probe called a "transducer." There are different types of transducers. Some are designed for external use. Others are placed into an opening in the body. Let's look at how an external transducer is used. First, a thick gel is used to coat the transducer and your skin. Then, the transducer is pressed against your skin. It makes sound waves at a frequency so high you can't hear them. The thick gel helps these waves pass into your body. The waves bounce off your tissues and reflect back to the transducer. The returning waves are used to generate images on a monitor.

Why it's used

Ultrasound imaging is commonly used to check on a growing baby during pregnancy. But it has many other uses. It can let a doctor see your heart, brain, and other organs. It can be helpful for finding tumors or scar tissue deep within your body. Your doctor may use ultrasound imaging during a procedure. For example, it can help your doctor guide a needle into a target in your body, or place a catheter into your blood vessel.


Ultrasound imaging is a useful and safe tool for many medical needs. Talk to your doctor for more information.