Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ultrasound

Ultrasound

Patient Information

Appointment Scheduling MSLHImaging@houstonmethodist.org

No appointment necessary for X-Rays. Walk-ins welcome.

Hours:
Imaging & Diagnostic ServicesMonday - Friday,
7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Saturday,
7:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Breast Center
Monday - Friday,
7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday,
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

 

Ultrasound

For every imaging test performed at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, our team of physicians, nurses and technologists performing and interpreting the exams brings a wealth of experience to the case. Ongoing communication between the referring physician and our radiologists in the department is a priority — helping to keep your needs at the top of the list, every time.

What is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasonography, which is sometimes called sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues and organs. Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs as they function and to assess blood flow through various vessels. Ultrasound procedures are often used to examine many parts of the body such as the abdomen, breasts, female pelvis, prostate, scrotum, thyroid and parathyroid and the vascular system. During pregnancy, ultrasounds are performed to evaluate the development of the fetus.

What are the Different Types of Ultrasounds?

Different ultrasound techniques exist for different conditions. Examples of some of the more common types of ultrasound examinations include the following:

  • Doppler ultrasound - used to see structures inside the body, while evaluating blood flow at the same time. Doppler ultrasound can determine if there are any problems within the veins and arteries
  • Vascular ultrasound - used to see the vascular system and its function, including detection of blood clots
  • Echocardiogram - used to see the heart and its valves, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the heart’s pumping ability
  • Abdominal ultrasound - used to detect any abnormalities of the abdominal organs (i.e., kidneys, liver, pancreas, gallbladder), such as gallstones or tumors
  • Renal ultrasound - to examine the kidneys and urinary tract
  • Obstetrical ultrasound - used to monitor the development of the fetus
  • Pelvic ultrasound - used to find the cause of pelvic pain, such as an ectopic pregnancy in women, or to detect tumors or masses
  • Breast ultrasound - used to examine a mass in the breast tissue
  • Thyroid ultrasound - used to examine the thyroid and to detect any abnormalities
  • Scrotal ultrasound - used to further investigate pain in the testicles
  • Prostate ultrasound - used to examine any nodules felt during a physical examination
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound - used to examine any joint or muscle pain for conditions, such as a tear
  • Interventional ultrasound - used to help the radiologist during a minimally invasive procedure or biopsy

On the Day of Your Ultrasound

Where do I go? Campus Map

At the time your appointment is scheduled, you will be instructed to go to the Main Hospital or the Sweetwater Pavilion. When you enter, go to the Information Desk and our staff will gladly direct you from there.

When Should I Arrive?

Arrival times vary based on the type of ultrasound that will be performed. If you are not sure of your time of arrival, please call 281-274-7170 to clarify for your specific test.

How do I Prepare?

Special preparations for ultrasound exams are as follows:

  • Abdomen and Gallbladder – do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to the exam
  • Renal, Pelvic and Obstetric – full bladder, drink 24 oz of water 45 minutes prior to the exam

Make the technologist aware of any prior surgeries before the exam.

Be sure your physician has sent the order to the hospital scheduling department or bring the order with you to your appointment.

How are Ultrasounds Performed?

Ultrasounds may be done on an outpatient basis, or as part of inpatient care. Generally, an ultrasound procedure follows this process:

  1. A gel-like substance is rubbed on the area of the body to undergo the ultrasound (the gel acts as a conducer).
  2. Using a transducer, a tool that sends ultrasound waves, the waves are sent through the patient’s body.
  3. The sound from the transducer is reflected off structures inside the body, and the information from the sounds is analyzed by a computer.
  4. The computer then creates a picture of these structures on a television screen.

Will it Hurt?

The ultrasound technologist will use pressure during the ultrasound in order to get clear pictures for the ordering physician and radiologist. This pressure may be uncomfortable for some patients.

Are There Risks?

There are no confirmed adverse biological effects on patients caused by exposure to ultrasound waves.

After Your Test:

A board certified radiologist will interpret your exam. Legally, the technologist cannot interpret or discuss what they are viewing while performing the exam. A report with the results will be sent to your physician within two to three business days. Please check with your physician’s office to discuss the results.