Two Important Questions New Patients Often Have about Ultrasounds

One of the greatest advancements of modern medicine has been the increased ability to see inside the body without a need for exploratory surgery. This has been a tremendous bonus for both physicians and patients. In particular, ultrasounds have emerged as a common diagnostic procedure that many patients undergo each year. However, if you have never been through this type of diagnostic procedure, there is a  strong chance that you may have a couple of questions that you are wanting addressed. 

Why Is It Important to Drink Plenty of Fluid before Undergoing an Ultrasound?

There are many patients that may be surprised to learn that it is critical to stay well hydrated in the time leading up to the ultrasound. This may seem like an odd request, but it is actually essential for the doctor to be able to get a clear image from the machine. 

An ultrasound machine works by passing high-frequency sound waves through the body, and it then measures and interprets these readings. Considering that much of the body comprises water, these devices have to be carefully calibrated to ensure that they are able to accurately obtain these measurements. The exact recommended amount of water will vary based on your body size and chemistry, but your doctor will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate for how much you need to drink for the best results. 

Are Ultrasound's Only Used for Pregnant Women?

There is a common misconception that these diagnostic tests are only suitable for pregnant women. While it is certainly true that these tests can provide them with an accurate picture of their baby, and it can help doctors monitor its developmental process, pregnancy is far from the only use for this remarkable tool. 

For example, there are often times where your doctor will need to monitor the condition of your internal organs. In these instances, an ultrasound may be the best tool for providing a detailed image of the organ in question. Also, these machines are often used to diagnose joint damage and other orthopedic problems, which can help to reduce the amount of surgery that patients will have to go through by eliminating the need for most exploratory surgeries. 

The invention of the ultrasound machine is one of the great milestones of modern medicine because it drastically enhance doctors' abilities to diagnose a wide range of internal conditions. If you are going to be undergoing this type of procedure, knowing the importance of drinking plenty of fluids and the wide range of uses for this machine will give you a better idea of what to expect from this procedure. For more information, talk to a professional like Central Iowa OB/Gyn Specialists, PLC.