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Ultrasound uses sound waves to image the body. These sound waves are at a frequency much higher than what humans can hear. Ultrasound is a mechanical vibration of atoms in the body; it does not use radiation like radiology, CT or nuclear medicine. Ultrasound is often better at imaging soft tissues and is safe for imaging unborn babies. The technologist that performs ultrasound exams is a sonographer, producing images called ultrasound scans or sonograms. The sonographer places a device called a transducer against the patient's skin, using a gel to produce good skin contact. Sometimes the sonographer may place the transducer inside a body opening, for example to image pelvic organs. The transducer gives off sound waves. These sound waves can pass through the patient's tissues, or reflect back to the transducer, producing an "echo." The transducer captures the reflected sound waves, converts them into an electrical signal and sends them to a computer. The computer converts the signals into an image of the patient's tissues.

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1401 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61104
(779) 696-4400


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