Important Information to Know During Our Campus Transformation — Read More

Radiology: Ultrasound Imaging

Why choose Rady Children’s ultrasound?

Rady Children’s Hospital Radiology ultrasound provides unprecedented patient care consistent with our values of compassion, accountability, respect, excellence and service. Our dedicated team of diagnostic medical sonographers/medical professionals specialize in pediatric patient care and are all nationally accredited through the CAAHEP.

What is an ultrasound procedure?

Ultrasound is an imaging modality that uses high-frequency waves to view internal structures of the body. Unlike some other imaging modalities, an ultrasound examination does not use ionizing radiation and relies on acoustic physics to produce images with no risk to the patient. Ultrasound uses transducers, the wand-shaped device the technologist places on the region of interest, which sends ultrasound pulses and uses the information received from the echo to characterize different types of tissue.

ultrasound photo

Ultrasound has numerous advantages over other modalities including its portability, lack of ionizing radiation, and cost-effectiveness. Unlike with magnetic resonance imaging, patients with a complex implant history can have ultrasounds from healthcare professionals without issue, and the artifact created by metal which can affect the image quality on other modalities such as computed tomography and MRI are less detrimental to ultrasound imaging.

What should I and/or my child expect from an ultrasound examination?

Patients will be greeted with a smile by a medical professional at our pediatric radiology lobby. At the time of their exam, patients will be brought back to our ultrasound exam room. To allow our sonographers the best viewing conditions for their screens these rooms will be dimly lit at the time of the exam. The child will get comfortable on a soft table, at which time the sonographer will place a warm, water-based gel in the region of interest for the exam. Throughout the exam the sonographer may ask the patient to hold their breath or move in different positions, enabling the technologist to get the highest quality diagnostic imaging possible. There may be times throughout the exam that a small amount of pressure is applied for better viewing, but rest assured, an ultrasound procedure is a completely painless one.

What can we do to prepare?

Strict adherence to the guidelines regarding water and food consumption before the exam is the most important step in preparing for an ultrasound. These guidelines will be provided at the time of scheduling your exam and will create the ideal conditions for producing high-quality images. Patients should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to their exam.

How long will it take to get results?

Most results come back within two to three business days after the exam. These results will be sent over to the physician who ordered the ultrasound. Results are also uploaded to your MyChart once they are finalized by our team of radiologists/healthcare professionals. If you do not have an appointment or have not heard back from the ordering doctor in four days, we recommend getting in contact with them to review your results.