Ultrasound

Diagnostic Test to View Internal Organs and Structures

Ultrasound technology uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of structures within your body. Doctors at Loyola Medicine use these images to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases and conditions, as well as to monitor the health and development of an embryo or fetus during pregnancy

An ultrasound is usually performed using a probe directly on the skin with a clear gel, which transmits the ultrasound waves into the body. An ultrasound can show movement within the body, including blood moving through the blood vessels and movement of the internal organs.

Loyola offers state-of-the-art imaging and diagnostic techniques in order to provide timely and accurate diagnosis for our patients. Our expert radiologists are recognized nationally and internationally for clinical excellence, innovative diagnostic and therapeutic methods and skilled use of the latest technology. Our experienced technologists provide testing in a caring and compassionate environment where we want you to feel comfortable asking any questions you may have about your test or procedure. 

Why Choose Loyola for Ultrasound?

As an academic medical center, Loyola provides compassionate, comprehensive care to patients and trains future leaders in advanced imaging technology. Loyola takes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and provides support services for patients and families. Your entire Loyola healthcare team has one goal: restoring you to better health.

Electronic images are available to your doctors instantly through an electronic medical record system, allowing us to deliver timely, effective care to our patients. At Loyola, we understand the importance of continuity of care and will provide seamless communication with your doctor through our secure medical information portal, LoyolaConnect. You can also access results from your lab tests and evaluations through myLoyola

What Diseases are Detected with an Ultrasound?

Your Loyola healthcare team is experienced in using ultrasound technology to diagnose a variety of conditions and assess organ damage following an illness. For symptoms such as pain, swelling or infection, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound as the first step in the diagnostic process.  Loyola’s dedicated team will deliver the highest quality of care—from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. 

We offer ultrasound technology for the diagnosis of conditions and diseases, including:

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Appendicitis
  • Ascites (fluid collection in the abdomen)
  • Biliary obstruction
  • Bladder disorders 
  • Blood clots
  • Breast masses 
  • Congenital vascular malformations
  • Cysts
  • Endometrial polyps 
  • Gallbladder disease 
  • Genital and prostate abnormalities
  • Infection
  • Joint aspirations
  • Ovarian and uterine cancers
  • Soft tissue masses (including biopsy)
  • Stones in the gallbladder, kidney or ureter
  • Tendon injections
  • Thyroid nodules (including biopsy)
  • Tumors
  • Uterine anomalies 
  • Uterine fibroids 
  • Uterine scars ​

In addition, Loyola’s OB/GYNs and radiologists use ultrasound technology to view the ovaries and uterus of pregnant women and monitor the health and development of a baby during pregnancy.

What to Expect during an Ultrasound

At Loyola, your ultrasound technologist will walk you through every part of the exam, preparing you for each step before it occurs. We want you to feel comfortable during your test, so let your technologist know if you need anything to make you more comfortable during your test. Also, please ask any questions you may have; your technologist is happy to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. 

During your ultrasound exam, you will lie face-up and your technologist will position you so that he or she can access the part of your body that will be studied. Your Loyola technologist will apply a warm, water-based gel to your skin and put the transducer directly on your skin. The transducer will be moved back and forth over the area of interest until the desired images are captured. 

This procedure is generally pain-free, though you may feel the warmth of the transducer. If the ultrasound is being performed on a tender area of the body, you may feel some pressure or discomfort. Your ultrasound will likely take approximately 30 minutes to complete, though vascular and abdominal ultrasounds may take longer in order to obtain detailed images. 

What are the Risks of an Ultrasound?

Your Loyola doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of any proposed diagnostic and treatment plan with you. Ultrasound technology is considered very safe, but is recommended to be used in moderation. Ultrasounds are a very useful tool, providing valuable diagnostic information in a non-invasive way. You will likely feel no pain or pressure, only the warmth of the transducer on your skin. If your ultrasound is being performed on a tender area of the body, you may feel some pressure or discomfort. 

Your healthcare team will ensure that your questions are answered and your concerns are addressed prior to any treatment or testing.