Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page


What Is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound scan is a medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create live images from the inside the body. Also called a sonogram or sonography, ultrasounds let doctors see the body’s soft tissues, which X-rays can’t do.

Ultrasound scans are safe and painless.

How Are Ultrasounds Done?

A technician (sonographer) spreads a clear, warm gel on the area to be scanned. Then, they use a small transducer (or wand) to send sound waves into the body. The sound waves move through the body until stopped by something, such as bone or fluid. Then they echo back. A computer measures how they echo back, and changes the sound waves into images to be analyzed.

Why Are Ultrasounds Done?

Doctors order ultrasounds to:

What Are the Types of Ultrasounds?

There are many different kinds of ultrasounds. Types of scans done on kids include:

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date Reviewed: Jan 10, 2022

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies. To learn more, read our privacy policy.