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Ultrasound (Sonography)

Ultrasound studies use high-frequency sound waves to create images of systems and organs in the body. The waves reflect off body structures sending information to a computer which translates them into a picture.  Unlike x-rays, ultrasound scans use no radiation. The test is performed on an outpatient basis and is painless.

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of internal structures. The test is done by moving the transducer over the area of interest. This test involves no radiation and is painless. Gel is placed on the skin to “couple” the ultrasound transducer to the body, to create clear images. Water serves as a “window” to concentrate the sound waves, explaining why a full bladder is necessary for female pelvic ultrasound.

Ultrasound was initially developed during wartime to detect deep sea vessels and the ocean floor, but has been progressively refined to produce excellent diagnostic images of the body, and continues to improve with each new generation of machine. Abington – Jefferson Health ultrasound facilities are accredited by the American College of Radiology.

What are some common uses of Ultrasound?

Abington provides the full range of ultrasound exams, from head to toe, including biopsy procedures, arterial and venous evaluation, pregnancy and diagnostic body scans.

How should I prepare for an Ultrasound?

The preparation for each ultrasound study depends on the area being examined.

Pelvic or OB

Female patients should drink four 8 oz. glasses of water one hour prior to the examination and should not urinate. The bladder must be full for the exam.

Abdomen and Kidneys

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam.

Gallbladder or Pancreas

The day before the exam, eat a "fat-free" dinner (lean meat, fresh vegetables, toast or bread with jelly and coffee or teas. No eggs, butter, fried or fatty foods). On the day of the exam, do not eat or drink anything until after the exam. Diabetic patients and others with special health considerations should call for instructions.


This requires no special preparation.


These exams require no preparation and are generally done either to work out a mammographic abnormality or to evaluate a physical exam finding. These are often performed in conjunction with mammography though young women before age 30-35 generally will be done without mammograms.


No preparation required.


No preparation required.

What should I expect during this exam?

Your ultrasound technologist will ask you to lie on a table and a conducting gel will be applied to the area of the body being examined.  The procedure is painless and will last between 30 - 60 minutes.

What will I experience after the procedure?

You can resume normal activities right away as long as your physician has not instructed you differently.

Invasive Procedures

Thyroid and Neck Biopsy

Radiologists at Abington perform many biopsies each year and have a great deal of experience with thyroid disease.

These procedures are performed for either palpable masses, nodes, or thyroid nodules. Usually, the patient will have a diagnostic ultrasound before scheduling the biopsy. The biopsy is done by a radiologist in an ultrasound exam room, with a cytopathology technologist to assess the adequacy of biopsy. The procedure is done with ultrasound guidance, watching the needle the entire time to ensure accurate biopsy. Patients tolerate these procedures very well.

Abington radiologists also can perform other biopsies of neck masses with ultrasound, including lymph nodes, parotid gland masses, and other neck lesions.

Patient Prep

None. If you have outside ultrasound studies, please bring it with you on date of study.


Hysterosonography is a procedure in which sterile saline is injected into the endometrial cavity of the uterus, most commonly to assess for causes of vaginal bleeding.

Patient Prep

Schedule in first half of cycle, 5-14 days after first date of menstruation. No drinking before the procedure

Scheduling a Test?

Use this form to request an appointment for a test

Our schedulers will call you within 2 business days at the time that is most convenient for you to arrange the appointment.

Radiology Group of Abington, PC

Radiology Group of Abington, PC

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