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The Different Functions of Ultrasound Machines
Ultrasound machines are commonly used in pregnant women, whether they intend to simply view the current position, gender and condition of their baby or want to determine if there are any abnormalities. The uterus is the most common organ viewed among female patients, since it holds the fetus throughout pregnancy. Ultrasound scanning is recommended between 16 and 18 weeks of pregnancy.
Once the date of conception is identified, the test can show if the fetus is of the right size. If the date of conception is not yet known, ultrasound can help determine the accurate date of conception. The test will also effectively show if there is more than one baby in the womb. Congenital heart disease can be discovered too, allowing physicians to make the immediate and necessary treatments. Ultrasound can be used in conjunction with amniocentesis, wherein a needle is inserted to take amniotic fluid for analysis.
Other conditions and features that can be identified via the procedure include early fetal death, general health of the baby, position of the placenta, ectopic pregnancy and potential miscarriage. Other structures in the area such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, etc. may also be viewed to identify cysts and causes of infertility.
Aside from obstetric reasons, ultrasound machines also function well for other cases such as checking the brain of the newborn baby, assessing internal organs like the appendix for possible complications and abnormalities, evaluation of the eyes and scanning the liver for cirrhosis and cysts. Ultrasound can also be used to scan the thyroid gland, spleen, bladder, breasts and eyes for the presence of foreign objects, cysts and tumors. Organ enlargement can be identified, together with tendon tears and approval for angioplasty.
For the Heart
A specialized type of ultrasound is called echocardiography, wherein the heart is checked for proper function and form. It is a major diagnostic method that aims to identify the valves, major blood vessels and heart wall. Blood flow moving across the valves and blood vessels can be measured too. Echocardiography comes in very useful to identify disorders of heart valves. The heart valves should be opening and closing normally.
Ultrasound machines for echocardiography will come in handy too when trying to detect congenital heart disease, complications in the large blood vessels, blood clots in the heart chambers, heart muscle damage or enlargement or cardiomyopathy and pericarditis or inflammation of the pericardium. Aneurysms can also be detected.
Doppler echocardiography is a new ultrasound approach that can measure the velocity of blood flow through the heart indirectly. It can check for malfunctioning valves in the case of aortic stenosis and mitral insufficiency.
Ultrasound machines are also used during fine needle biopsy procedures. It gives an actual moving image which is very useful when guiding the needle to reach the specific spot correctly. Follow doctor's instructions carefully before undergoing any procedure.
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