Sonography is an imaging technique that uses ultrasound waves primarily to examine internal organs. A major advantage of sonography over X-rays, which are also frequently used in medicine, is the harmlessness of the sound waves used. Sensitive tissues such as those in the unborn are not damaged either, and the examination is painless.
Which organs are examined?
Head and neck
When examining the head and neck, we primarily focus on the vessels and the thyroid gland. The carotid artery in particular, and in special cases also other arteries such as the temporal artery, are examined for calcifications and inflammatory changes. We also examine the thyroid gland in order to detect the occurrence of malignant changes or to carry out further imaging diagnostics in case of abnormal laboratory values.
During the ultrasound examination of the chest, we look at the heart. In the case of corresponding complaints (primarily acute or increasing shortness of breath), we take a closer look at the space between the pleura and the lungs. We receive more detailed information about the presence of pleural effusions (water between the lung leaves), a collapsed lung and sometimes also the presence of a pulmonary embolism.
With the help of echocardiography (heart ultrasound) we check the pumping function of your heart. We can see if there are any disorders of the wall movement that could indicate coronary artery disease. We can also see whether your heart valves are not functioning properly. Diseases such as previously undiscovered high blood pressure or lung diseases can also be diagnosed with the help of heart ultrasound.
During the ultrasound of the “abdomen” (abdomen), the liver with bile ducts and the gall bladder, the pancreas, parts of the stomach and the spleen are examined more closely. At the same time, an examination of the large abdominal vessels including the main artery with its large outlets, the vena cava and the portal vein is carried out.
Furthermore, a sonographic examination of the intestine is carried out – if there are symptoms, the descending colon and the region around the connective intestine are examined in more detail. In the case of gastrointestinal infections, an assessment of the small intestine can also be carried out.
During the abdominal examination, we regularly take a closer look at the kidneys and the urinary tract. In the case of men, the prostate is assessed, and in women, an exploratory examination of the uterus and ovaries is added.
Vascular diagnostics on the legs
In the event of corresponding complaints, we can make an orienting diagnosis of the leg arteries if calcifications are suspected and the veins if thrombosis is suspected.
Ultrasound on the musculoskeletal system
In addition, we can use sonography to examine the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system and assess the various joints. Sonography is used here primarily to examine the tendons and ligaments of the knee, shoulder (rotator cuff), elbow, hands and wrists. We can assess and track the development of muscle injuries, locate foreign bodies, and detect or rule out the presence of fluid pools (seromas and hematomas). It even allows us to see inflammation of peripheral nerves like the median nerve related to carpal tunnel syndrome.