There are many different types of medical technology that don't get a lot of time in the spotlight. Most people's familiarity with medical equipment ends with the stethoscope they see on their local GP, and that is totally understandable. Everyone leads busy lives, and most people probably don't know the intricacies of your industry, either. However, when it comes to your personal health it is always good to be informed on procedures and tests you are scheduled to have. If you have been scheduled for an ultrasound, you may be a bit shocked at first, especially if you aren't pregnant. Here is why you shouldn't be nervous and why ultrasounds could save your life.
What Is An Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a tool used to diagnose and locate issues that lie deep in your body. Ultrasounds do this by emitting high-frequency sounds that travel through your body and bounce of the varying organs, bones and muscles before returning to the sensor. This sensor then uses the information given to it to create a map of the inside of your body that is very accurate. Unlike an x-ray, an ultrasound does not use radiation to complete this process, and in general, ultrasounds are better at mapping soft tissue like muscles, organs and veins.
Why Do I Need An Ultrasound?
Let's take the vascular ultrasound for an example. In this case, you might have had some tests done that show some problems with your vascular system (your veins) but not an exact diagnosis. Your doctor would then advise a vascular ultrasound to find out exactly where and what the problem is. You would then need to go to the nearest medical professional with an ultrasound machine (most GP's do not keep that sort of equipment on-site), and they would apply a jelly-like liquid on your skin (so the ultrasound moves more freely) and then simply run the ultrasound over suspected problem areas. The vascular ultrasound would then send all the information back to the computer, and all your secret issues would be laid bare.
What Can A Vascular Ultrasound Find?
Vascular ultrasounds save lives, which is remarkable for such a simple procedure. However, a vascular ultrasound can basically find anything that could possibly be wrong with your veins such as:
- Blockages that are threatening your blood supply
- The beginning stages of an aneurysm that could potentially be fatal if left alone
- The development of blood clots
- Tumors and cancer
A vascular ultrasound is just one type of ultrasound, but even a test as simple as an ultrasound that focuses on the veins can save lives. Don't be worried if you have to go for one, it likely is a very important step that could change your life for the better.