Premier Diagnostic FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is an ultrasound? Does it involve radiation?
- Is an ultrasound ever painful?
- What is the best time of the day for an ultrasound?
- Do I need to arrive early prior to my exam for any paperwork?
- Can I bring a family member to be with me during the exam?
- Will I be able to drive after my ultrasound?
- When will my doctor get my results?
- Do I have to fast or stop drinking before an ultrasound?
- If I am pregnant, how will an ultrasound affect my baby?
- Can I take pictures or videotape a fetal exam?
- Does menstruation create a problem for any ultrasound procedures?
- Why must I have a full bladder for a pelvic exam?
- If am under age 25, is an ultrasound of my breast a better choice than a mammogram?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ultrasound? Does it involve radiation?
An ultrasound is an image created by high frequency sound waves. There is no radiation involved.
Is an ultrasound ever painful?
An ultrasound is usually a non-invasive procedure, so it is generally a painless procedure. If you have a full bladder, you may experience some mild discomfort as the transducer moves over your abdomen.
What is the best time of the day for an ultrasound?
Ultrasounds can be performed any time of the day. Some exams require some preparation, such as an abdominal exam. For an abdominal ultrasound, earlier in the day may be easier since you must fast for 4-6 hours prior to your exam.
Do I need to arrive early prior to my exam for any paperwork?
Yes, you should arrive about ten to fifteen minutes before your appointment to register, checked in and complete paperwork.
Can I bring a family member to be with me during the exam?
Premier understands that family is very important during medical visits and procedures. A family member is welcome to join you in the exam room for your ultrasound. We request that another adult always accompany children. The sonographer needs to concentrate during your exam without distractions.
Will I be able to drive after my ultrasound?
Yes your ultrasound procedure will not affect your ability to drive. If an outpatient procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance, the decision is made by your physician. Please discuss this with your provider.
When will my doctor get my results?
Your doctor will receive results within 24 hours for a routine ultrasound. For an emergency ultrasound, we will get results to your doctor within an hour.
Do I have to fast or stop drinking before an ultrasound?
Please refer to our patient preparation section. There are a few types of ultrasounds that require some preparation.
If I am pregnant, how will an ultrasound affect my baby?
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine has issued a response to this question:
In Vitro Biological Effects
It is often difficult to evaluate reports of ultrasonically induced in vitro biological effects with respect to their clinical significance. An in vitro effect can be regarded as a real biological effect. However, the predominant physical and biological interactions and mechanisms involved in an in vitro effect may not pertain to the in vivo situation. Results from in vitro experiments suggest new endpoints and serve as a basis for design of in vivo experiments. In vitro studies provide the capability to control experimental variables that may not be controllable in vivo and thus offer a means to explore and evaluate specific mechanisms and test hypotheses. Although they may have limited applicability to in vivo biological effects, such studies can disclose fundamental intercellular or intracellular effects of ultrasound. While it is valid for authors to place their results in context and to suggest further relevant investigations, reports which do more than that should be viewed with caution.
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Phone: 301-498-4100 · Fax: 301-498-4450 · Website: www.aium.org
Can I take pictures or videotape a fetal exam?
No, you are having a medical procedure and pictures and video are NOT permitted at any time during your exam. If you would like pictures, the sonographer can provide them for you. At our freestanding locations, as well as an expanding number of ObGyn offices, Premier offers Bellybaloo as a free service to access your Ob images stored on a secure server using the Internet.
Does menstruation create a problem for any ultrasound procedures?
No, many patients are scanned during this time. If a transvaginal is to be performed and you are uncomfortable or embarrassed, call the office to discuss your concerns. If you are still uncomfortable, you may postpone the procedure. Your provider will be notified in order to reschedule your exam.
Why must I have a full bladder for a pelvic exam?
There are two basic reasons. First, sound waves do not travel through air. The bladder moves the bowel out of the way and is an acoustic window for visualization. The second reason is that it improves the ability to see structures that may be low in the pelvis.
If am under age 25, is an ultrasound of my breast a better choice than a mammogram?
This is a discussion to have with your provider.Traditionally, a breast ultrasound may be ordered for a specific area of pain in a patient who has not been pregnant, as the tissue is generally denser than after a pregnancy. Overall, there are many reasons that may make one imaging modality preferable over the other, or ultrasound may be used in conjunction with another procedure for further diagnosis.