Ultrasounds | Imaging Services
At Complete Women Care, one of the main diagnostic tools we utilize are ultrasounds.
Sonography is the most ideal mode to visualize a fetus, especially since it will not impose any threat. It is generally safe, and relatively painless, aside from possibly minimal pressure. Most scans are performed in a transabdominal (external) approach, and also a transvaginal (intracavitary) approach. Both scans can be performed while the patient is bleeding, provided that the patient is comfortable being examined. Sonography’s biggest strength is detecting focal structures such as cysts, and polyps. It can also determine whether a structure is cystic (i.e. fluid-filled) versus solid (i.e. tissue components). Ultrasound can complement other imaging modalites such as mammograms, computed tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and X-Ray. At CWC we strive to make our patients as comfortable as possible, so our technologist are all female.
In an early pregnancy ultrasound is used for dating purposes and fetal heart tones. The first trimester ultrasound is also the most accurate in terms of dating. It can also help eliminate the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy located outside of the uterus). An anatomy scan performed at 20 weeks gestation is used to visualize fetal structures such as the stomach, urinary bladder, kidneys, heart, central nervous system, umbilical cord, spine, and extremities. During a growth scan we can estimate the maturation of the fetus by measuring the head, waist, and the femur (thigh bone). Ultrasound is also used to measure amniotic fluid, placental location, and cervical length.
Used to visualize the uterus, bilateral ovaries, and endometrium (lining), can help to detect cysts, fibroids, and some types of polyps. Pelvic ultrasounds may also be ordered for infertility patients to visualize follicles (“eggs”). If a patient is only comfortable with the transabdominal approach, please come with a full bladder and refrain from using the restroom. Ideally, this would require 32 oz. of water finished 1 hr prior to the exam. More water may be required if the patient does not normally drink water.
Hormones produced by the thyroid can have a potential impact on a woman’s fertility. Common issues like PCOS can also be directly linked and attributed to the thyroid, as well. With ultrasound, we can check to see if the thyroid is enlarged, and can correlate findings with blood tests.
3-D and 4-D
Non-diagnostic tool used to visualize the baby’s face, body, feet, and toes; providing that the baby is in an ideal position. 4-D is the 3-D component used in conjunction with movement. Priceless moments such as yawning can be captured with 4-D. These scans can provide a great way for the entire family to enjoy and bond over the upcoming birth. To prepare for this fun experience it would be ideal if the patient eat a light meal with fruit and/or orange juice 30-45 min before. A full bladder may also assist in fetal position. The patient will receive a CD with 3-D images, and a DCD with 2-D/3-D/4-D to remember her little miracle. Patients may bring family members as well.
Abdominal ultrasounds require a patient to be fasting for 6-8 hrs beforehand. Therefore these scans are better done in the morning, especially for our pregnant patients. During this scan we will take a look at the liver, pancreas, gallbladder,common bile duct, kidneys, & spleen. We utilize ultrasound to rule out common findings such as stones in the kidneys and gallbladder, or fatty liver disease.
Sonography is now widely performed to help detect breast abnormalities such as cysts, fibroadenomas, and certain types of breast cancer. It is especially helpful in evaluating dense breasts. Dense breasts contain less fatty tissue, and can commonly occur in younger women.