Like the x-ray, CT scan and MRI, ultrasound testing is used by the medical community to investigate and diagnose an array of medical conditions. However, there is no radiation exposure associated with ultrasound testing. Ultrasound technology employs high-frequency sound waves to create images of organs and systems within the body. An ultrasound machine sends out sound waves that reflect off body structures. A computer receives the reflected waves and uses them to create pictures.
To conduct an ultrasound, a clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined to aid transmission of the sound waves. A handheld probe called a transducer is moved over the area being examined.