Ultrasound quickly produces detailed images of organs and tissues inside your body, making it one of the first tools used to diagnose the underlying cause of pain, swelling, and other symptoms. William R. Martin, MD, and the team of sonographers at Upper Valley Interventional Radiology have extensive experience customizing your ultrasound to target precise internal structures. If you have questions about ultrasound or you need to schedule an appointment, call the office in McAllen, Texas, or use the online booking feature.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs and tissues inside your body. An instrument called a transducer sends sound waves into your body, where the waves bounce off organs and return to the transducer. Then the transducer sends the information to a computer that translates the echoes into detailed images.
Ultrasound is well-known for its use during pregnancy to examine the development of the unborn baby. However, it’s also used to evaluate and diagnose problems throughout your body.
For example, the team at Upper Valley Interventional Radiology uses ultrasound to examine and diagnose problems in your thyroid gland, heart, breasts, blood vessels, and internal organs such as your pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, liver, and reproductive organs. Ultrasound imaging works well for assessing muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and joints.
Ultrasound is a great tool for examinations that target a specific internal organ. You may also need ultrasound to guide a procedure, such as a needle biopsy.
Dr. Martin specializes in cardiac ultrasound, including echocardiography, intravenous procedures, and Doppler ultrasound that shows the movement of blood through your vessels.
Vascular ultrasound is performed by placing the transducer on your skin, and it is used to:
Another procedure, called intravascular ultrasound, produces images from inside your blood vessels. During this procedure, Dr. Martin and the team at Upper Valley Interventional Radiology use a catheter with a small transducer on one end. They thread the catheter through an artery or vein to the target location, where the transducer produces images of the blood vessel.
Before you come in for your ultrasound, you may receive instructions to drink water or to fast for eight hours. This preparation improves the images of certain organs.
After you’re positioned on the exam table, your provider at Upper Valley Interventional Radiology places ultrasound gel on your skin. The gel allows the transducer to send sound waves through your skin by eliminating air pockets and surface irregularities that interfere with sound transmission.
Then your sonographer moves the transducer back and forth over the targeted area until the image is captured. Ultrasound exams are painless and most are finished within 30-60 minutes.
To schedule an ultrasound, call Upper Valley Interventional Radiology or use the online booking feature.