Ultrasound imaging, also called a sonography, is a medical diagnostic procedure that uses ultrasound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound waves travel from a transducer into the patient, bounce off structures, and return to the transducer where they are detected. An ultrasound is a great diagnostic tool for children because there is no exposure to radiation and no sedation or general anesthesia is needed. During an ultrasound study, parents can stay with the child to read, hold hands and provide other comfort as needed. At the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Department of Pediatric Radiology, our board-certified pediatric radiologists and ultrasound technologists (sonographers) are specially trained to perform ultrasound in children and to help children relax during their ultrasound studies, while minimizing discomfort and accommodating any special needs.
Ultrasound examinations on all parts of the body are available for pediatric patients from newborns to teens. Special applications of ultrasound include:
- Evaluation of the kidneys and bladder
- Evaluation of the liver, spleen and pancreas
- Evaluation gastrointestinal tract
- Evaluation of the brain of a baby
- Evaluation of the heart (echocardiography)
- Evaluation of the female and male genital tracts
- Musculoskeletal (bone, joint and tissue) applications
- Guidance for interventional procedures
The ultrasound transducer is a small hand-held instrument that is placed against your child’s body and slowly passed over the area to be examined. Warm gel is applied for better imaging. Ultrasound images are obtained by our trained pediatric sonographers. Often, our physicians will perform ultrasound imaging after the sonographers to obtain additional images or see structures in real-time.
Our ultrasound equipment has been specifically developed and chosen for pediatric patients. Our cutting-edge equipment consists of real-time scanners, all with Doppler and color-flow Doppler capability. We have special small transducer with higher frequency to better visualize smaller structures within smaller patients.
Providing proper imaging for a child can be challenging. Parents may remain with their child throughout the ultrasound examination. Our experienced and compassionate staff understands how to work with children and put them at ease.
Comprehensive pediatric ultrasound services are provided at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Many routine pediatric ultrasound studies (e.g., abdomen, kidneys, pelvis) may be performed at our UMHS satellite centers.