Ultrasound at University of Colorado Hospital
What is an ultrasound test?
An ultrasound is a safe and painless test that uses sound waves to look at different parts of your body:
- Internal organs (heart, liver, spleen, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, uterus and bladder)
- Lymph nodes or blood vessels.
- A special type of ultrasound called Doppler ultrasound can also show blood flow.
An ultrasound is not an x-ray and does not use radiation.
Why do I need an ultrasound?
An ultrasound may be done for many reasons. Caregivers may be trying to find the cause of a problem or symptom you are having.
If you are pregnant, an ultrasound may be done to look at your baby inside your uterus. Tumors, gallstones, or heart defects may also be seen on an ultrasound.
Ultrasound may also be used to guide doctors during procedures such as biopsies, fluid aspirations and other operative procedures.
How does ultrasound work?
A transducer, also referred to as a probe, is used for an ultrasound exam. The transducer sends and receives sound waves as it is moved over your skin.
The sound waves bounce off or “echo” against the organs inside your body. Sound waves cannot travel through air, bone, or gas in the bowel/stomach. Sound waves travel differently through various body types; the image is not as clear the deeper the sound waves have to go.
The ultrasound machine receives the information from the transducer and changes it into an image on the monitor. All images taken are digitally stored.
What happens during the ultrasound?
The ultrasound may be done in your hospital room or in an exam room. Depending on the type of ultrasound, you may be sitting or lying on an exam table.
Before the ultrasound begins, the lights will be dimmed and a towel will be placed over your clothing or you may change into a gown. A water-based gel is put on your skin over or near the area being tested. The gel removes any air that may be between you and the transducer and helps to send the sound waves into your body.
A sonographer will move the transducer over the area being examined. The sonographer may have you hold your breath or change positions during the ultrasound. You will be able to talk and move if needed during the ultrasound.
Who performs ultrasounds?
Diagnostic medical sonographers, radiologists, emergency department physicians, nurse midwives, obstetricians, gynecologists, urologists, as well as other physicians.
Location of Ultrasound at University of Colorado Hospital
University of Colorado Hospital
Anschutz Medical Campus
Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion (AOP), 3rd Floor
1635 Aurora Court
Aurora, CO 80045
- For prenatal and obstetrical ultrasound call (720) 848-0011
- For general ultrasound, call (720) 848-1860
Ultrasound Team at University of Colorado Hospital
The Division of Ultrasound at University of Colorado Hospital is nationally recognized for its expertise. The ultrasound department is accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the American College of Radiology.
A diagnostic medical sonographer will perform the ultrasound exam. Our sonographers are board certified and have extensive experience.
All ultrasounds are interpreted and read by fellowship-trained radiologists.