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Diagnostic ultrasound is a medical imaging technique that uses ultrasounds to obtain diagnostic images of different parts of the body. Diagnostic ultrasound is a non-invasive, painless imaging procedure that has no known side effects. The ultrasounds (high frequency sound waves) emitted by a probe, are transmitted into the tissues and are reflected as sound waves that are captured and analyzed using a computer to create images.
Diagnostic ultrasound allows a non-invasive and quick diagnosis of some abdominal organs (liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, etc.), the thyroid gland, the prostate, the breast and even the heart.
During the examination, a clear water-based gel is applied to the skin and the probe moves over the body part to be examined. An ultrasound examination takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
The indications for diagnostic ultrasound are numerous :
- suspicion of gallstones and kidney stones
- morphological study of the thyroid
- early pregnancy (less than 10 weeks) to confirm the viability of the fetus
- screening for breast, ovarian and prostate cancer
- visualization of the heart to identify abnormal structures or malfunction
- Doppler ultrasound allows the analysis of blood flow through the heart, kidneys, blood vessels
- Muscular, tendon or joint injuries