How Ultrasound Works

By: Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.  | 

An Ultrasound Examination

For an ultrasound exam, you go into a room with a technician and the ultrasound machine. The following happens:

  1. You remove your clothes (all of your clothes or only those over the area of interest).
  2. The ultrasonographer drapes a cloth over any exposed areas that are not needed for the exam.
  3. The ultrasonographer applies a mineral oil-based jelly to your skin— this jelly eliminates air between the probe and your skin to help pass the sound waves into your body.
  4. The ultrasonographer covers the probe with a plastic cover.
  5. The ultrasonographer passes the probe over your skin to obtain the required images. Depending upon the type of exam, the probe may be inserted into you.
  6. You may be asked to change positions to get better looks at the area of interest.
  7. After the images have been acquired and measurements taken, the data is stored. You may get a hard copy of the images.
  8. You are given a towelette to clean up.
  9. You get dressed.