Your doctor may order an ultrasound if you are experiencing pain, swelling, or any other symptoms that require viewing internal organs. Because there is no radiation during an ultrasound, this is often the first stage of imaging for soft tissues of the body. Ultrasound waves will penetrate most things, but bounce off of dense materials. The ultrasound will show your doctor masses in your body, which is why it is used to view fetuses during pregnancy, gall stones, and any time your doctor needs to know if something is more solid than the surrounding area.
Ultrasounds are incredibly safe; that’s why they are used so frequently during pregnancy. Although they show less detail than a CT Scan or MRI, they are perfect for many diagnostic cases involving soft tissue and internal organs. During your ultrasound, the technician will put a cool gel on your skin and then press against it with an ultrasound wand while looking at a monitor. He or she will take pictures at different angles throughout the process.