While the patient's history and physical examination are the building blocks of making a medical diagnosis, the ability to peer inside the body can be a powerful tool. Ultrasound is an imaging technique that provides that ability to medical practitioners.
What is an ultrasound?
Ultrasound produces sound waves that are beamed into the body causing return echoes that are recorded to "visualize" structures beneath the skin. The ability to measure different echoes reflected from a variety of tissues allows a shadow picture to be constructed. The technology is especially accurate at seeing the interface between solid and fluid filled spaces. These are actually the same principles that allow SONAR on boats to see the bottom of the ocean.
Type of Ultrasound
Cardiac Doppler - Records sounds and color-flow imaging of blood circulation through the heart.