Sonograms have been a predominant feature of medicine for decades. They have long been dubbed safe enough to study babies while still in the womb and so have been used as a staple of obstetrics for quite some time. Sonograms are both extremely intricate as well as precise and have thus been used consistently world-wide in emergency departments. From bloods vessels to bones to every organ in between, sonography is a very useful tool to help diagnose all sorts of ailments within the body.
In recent years, sonography has taken a leading role in the field of preventative medicine. The use of sonograms has enabled medical practitioners to recognize and address medical conditions in their infant stages – before the disease or ailment has the chance to spread and intensify. We can then deduce that the use of sonograms results in less-invasive testing, faster recovery periods and an opportunity for a more comprehensive understanding of well-being leading to all-round better health for patients.
What is Sonography?
Essentially, a sonogram is a photographic image taken of the body via the use of sound waves. One of the key components of an ultrasound machine is a transducer probe, which is filled with piezoelectric crystals that vibrate when an electrical current is applied. The sound waves hit the structures of the body – organs, bones, vessel. These sound waves then bounce back subsequently creating an image that shows up on the screen.
Sonograms are thus the most effective way of ascertaining what is occurring within the human body at a given time and can aid medical practitioners in recognizing prevalent issues and in performing procedures.
In most cases sonography is used externally however internal ultrasounds or ‘endoscopic ultrasounds’ are also performed. In order to retrieve pictures of what is happening within the body internally, Diagnostic ultrasound is used. This is a non-invasive measure that can be used to substantiate what is going on within the body and diagnose conditions.
Therapeutic ultrasound is done at a higher frequency and can actually be used as treatment for some issues with the bodily tissues, such as benign tumours.
Why does sonography matter?
Although there are other types of medical imaging available (such as X-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) – ultrasounds are often the first point of call for medical practitioners due to their ease of use. Ultrasounds can be done extremely quickly and results are instant.
Another advantage of using sonography machines is that they are often small hand-held devices and so are extremely flexible in terms of accessibility – thus helping medical practitioners work more effectively in emergency situations and in critical circumstances.
The World Health Organization states that effective imaging can help reduce unnecessary procedures, citing reports from various countries that conclude a significant number of abdominal surgeries could have been avoided if sonography had been used.
In a climate in which health care costs are rising, more people are looking to preventative care to avoid serious health complications further down the line. Ultrasound imagery has thus taken a leading hand in terms of addressing illnesses’ in their infant stages and subsequently helping thousands of people avoid high bills stemming from potential procedures that may not have been entirely necessary. Furthermore, ultrasounds can also be used to both treat as well as monitor the spread of diseases within the body making it a comprehensive and integral part of modern medical technology.