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Ultrasound Machines: For the Scrotum
Defining Scrotal Ultrasound
Scrotal ultrasound involves revealing the scrotum to high-frequency sound vibrations to create pictures of the inner structures and features. The tests do not use ionizing radiation, which can sometimes be the cause of infertility and other problems. Ultrasound images are taken in real-time so you can actually see the present movement and form of the internal organs. Even the blood flow can be seen moving through the blood vessels.
Scrotal ultrasound is non-invasive, painless and quick. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes to finish. Physicians can then refer to the saved images to determine whether or not abnormalities are present for immediate treatment and recovery. The ultrasound will give photos of the testicles, including the surrounding tissues of male patients.
Other Functions of the USD
To evaluate and diagnose problems of the testicles, ultrasound imaging is the primary method. The study can be used to determine if there is a mass present in the scrotum and if it is fluid-filled or cystic or solid. Other functions include searching for the exact location of an undescended testis, diagnosing the results of trauma to the scrotum, evaluating possible causes of infertility like varicocele and diagnosing causes of pain or swelling in the testicle such as in the case of torsion or inflammation.
The procedure may also be used to evaluate other structures like the epididymis, the tube that gathers sperm created by the testicles, as well as the prostate. Sudden pain onset in the scrotum can be a serious problem. Epididymitis is the most common reason for this, wherein the epididymis is inflamed. Antibiotics can treat the problem, but if left untreated, can cause loss of blood flow or abscess to the testicles.
More on Scrotal Ultrasound Machines
Scrotal ultrasound can find absent or undescended testicles. There are rare cases wherein testicles do not develop properly or at all. About 3% of full-term male babies have undescended testicles. The child has a high chance of getting cancer if the problem stays untreated. The diagnostic procedure can also find testicular torsion, wherein the spermatic cord containing vessels the provide blood to the scrotum is twisted. Tissues that are loosely attached are the usual cause. The problem is more common among adolescents and can be very painful. Immediate surgery may be need to prevent permanent testicular damage.
Ultrasound machines can find and evaluate masses like tumors and lumps inside the scrotum. Most masses are found just outside the testes. Majority of these are non-cancerous, while those inside are malignant.
To prepare for the procedure, wear loose and comfortable clothes, since you will be asked to take these off and wear a gown. There are no other special preparations needed. You can walk out of the clinic right after the test, with no special precautions or instructions. Results will be available in a few hours. Allow the diagnostician to interpret the data for you.
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