Ultrasound imaging (also known as Sonography) is a noninvasive medical exam that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (as used in X-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the movement of structures and their relationships within the body, as well as blood flowing through vessels.

Ultrasound has many uses in medical imaging. It is used to examine organs of the abdomen and pelvis, including liver, kidneys, spleen, gallbladder, urinary bladder and reproductive organs such as uterus, ovaries and testes. “Small parts” ultrasound is also used to examine the thyroid gland, breasts, joints, muscles and tendons, in addition to blood vessels throughout the body.

Ultrasound can also be used to guide minimally invasive procedures, such as in the performance of biopsies, drainages or injection of pain medications.