Minimal Side Effects of Ultrasonography

Ultrasonography is a medical diagnostic imaging technique in which very high frequency sound is aimed into the body. This technique is used to visualize subcutaneous body structures including tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs. The ultrasound scanner sends pulses into a patient’s body through a transducer and the return echoes are processed by a computer to display real time image on a monitor.

Ultrasonography has wide range of applications, such as:
  • Obstetric and gynecological examinations
  • Neonatal brain and infant spine examination
  • Ultrasonography Routine abdominal/pelvic examination
  • Musculoskeletal and skin examination
According to World Health Organizations, ultrasound is harmless and is considered to be a safe and cost-effective technique capable of providing relevant diagnostic information about most of the body parts; however, some side effects of Ultrasonography have been observed. There have been some cases of physical pain caused due to cavitation. The patient undergoes a burning feeling caused by the heating of gas contained in tissue cell nuclei. Often this can result in breathing problem, nausea and dizziness. Diagnostic ultrasound is considered to be safe during pregnancy. This imaging technique does not produce abnormality in a fetus or neonate.

Given below are a few recommendations to ensure safe use of ultrasound:
  • Ultrasound machine having low output power and high receiver gain to be used
  • There should be minimum contact time of transducer with skin
  • This imaging technique should produce minimum acoustic output with maximum diagnostic accuracy and performance
Although serious side effects of Ultrasonography have not been observed, this imaging technique should be performed by a highly skilled ultrasound radiologist.

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