The Increasing Importance Of Ultrasound In Medicine

While most probably equate an ultrasound guided procedure with a common diagnostic exam done during pregnancy, hospitals, clinics and physicians are using ultrasound in many more ways. Ultrasound has proven to be an effective diagnostic tool for a variety of medical conditions, and it has increased in importance during the past fifty years.

Ultrasound, which is also commonly referred to as a sonogram, works by using sound waves at higher frequencies than the human ear can hear for the purpose of stimulating the tissues in the body. This stimulation gives the technician the ability to view and monitor images such as the flow of blood and the movement of the body’s internal organs. These images are presented in real-time on a screen. In recent years, the images ultrasound has been able to present have increased in quality. Only twenty years ago, the images were one-dimensional, and difficult to decipher for the untrained eye. However, recent developments in technology have resulted in better-quality pictures, including 3-D images, giving physicians even better diagnostic ability.

Because ultrasound uses non-ionizing radiation, physicians consider it to be minimally-invasive and safe in most cases. In addition to being used during pregnancy to ensure a healthy baby and check for any other abnormalities, ultrasound has proven to be a valuable diagnostic tool in procedures like breast biopsies, liver biopsies and a host of others. It’s also commonly used to view potentially cancerous tumors in the body. In the past, physicians would use surgically-invasive procedures to perform such biopsies. In order to avoid the risk that accompanies any type of surgery, physicians began utilizing ultrasound and found it to be very useful.

Ultrasound is also less expensive than performing a lengthy surgical procedure. Its portability is an added feature; one that has made it a standard piece of equipment utilized by emergency personnel all over the country. EMT response teams are able to make quick use of ultrasound when administering first aid to provide additional information to the hospital before the patient even arrives.

Ultrasound gel is a vital part of the ultrasound guided procedure. It is the conductive medium which is placed on the patient’s skin or on the transducer right before the exam. Not only does ultrasound gel help guide the transducer during the procedure, it also improves the quality of the images the technician is able to see on the screen. Because these images play such a crucial role in helping physicians to make accurate diagnoses, ultrasound gel is necessary wherever ultrasound is performed.

Ultrasound gels such as our Aquasonic Ultrasound Gel provide technicians and physicians with the best possible results during any ultrasound guided procedure. Aquasonic Ultrasound Gel is non-staining, hypoallergenic, and completely safe for all types of transducers. This particular gel is high-quality, with an acoustically-correct formula that works well with the large range of frequencies used in many different types of ultrasounds.

One of the most common complaints from patients who have an ultrasound is the coldness of the gel. For this reason, many physicians prefer the use of gel warmers such as our Thermasonic Gel Warmers. These warmer come in two different sizes, allowing technicians to keep more than one bottle of gel warm at a time.

The importance of ultrasound is increasing. With continuous advances in technology, there’s no doubt there will be even more uses for it in the future. Having the proper equipment on hand is vital to ensure that every patient receives the most accurate diagnosis possible. If you have any questions or comments, please share your thoughts below!

Using Ultrasound Lotion In Therapeutic Ultrasound Treatments

Therapeutic ultrasound treatments generally refer to any type of therapeutic treatment that uses ultrasounds. A therapeutic ultrasound is a technique that consists of stimulating tissue underneath the skin’s surface through sound waves. These ultrasound treatments can include pain management, physical therapy and a variety of other treatments used in rehabilitation centers.

Similar to how ultrasound gel in diagnostic imaging is an essential product, ultrasound lotion for therapeutic ultrasound treatments is just as essential. Polysonic Ultrasound Lotion is available in 1 gallon jugs, dispensers and pump sizes to accommodate your treatment setting. This multi-purpose ultrasound lotion has a rich, moisturizing formula that is recommended for medical ultrasound procedures where lotion is preferred. Compared to ultrasound gel, the ultrasound lotion is often preferred by medical staff and patients in therapeutic ultrasound treatments. This ultrasound lotion is easily absorbed by the skin during massage, manual application and other physical therapy modalities during therapeutic treatments.

At the beginning of a therapeutic ultrasound treatment, ultrasound lotion is applied to the area of the patient’s body that is being treated. The probe from the ultrasound machine will then circulate the ultrasound lotion against the affected area of the patient. Depending on the type of treatment, generally the ultrasound stimulates a patient’s tissue beneath the surface of skin using high frequency sound waves. Therapeutic ultrasounds not only have the possibility to create heating effects, but its also shown to increase tissue relaxation, increase in blood flow to reduce swelling and inflammation and breakdown of scar tissue.

Therapeutic ultrasound treatments can treat a large variety of pain management therapies including muscle strain, muscle tension, chronic pain, and injuries toward tendon, muscle and ligaments. It is important to use the appropriate ultrasound lotion to assist in these types of treatments. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please leave your thoughts below!

Why Ultrasound Guided Procedures Are Common In Medical Settings

Ultrasound guided procedures are becoming more common in today’s medical world. Many hospitals, clinics and doctor offices use ultrasound technology for a variety of diagnostic purposes.

An ultrasound is simply a technique to stimulate the tissue underneath the skin’s surface using high frequency sound waves. The ultrasound images are taken in real-time to show the movement of internal organs, as well as blood flow. Technologists will place ultrasound gel on a patient’s skin or probe before the procedure. The ultrasound gel is used as a conductive medium to transmit the sound of waves from the probe to skin, which will then render images on a screen for the technologist to view. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation, they are considered safe and minimally invasive. The following are a few common ultrasound guided procedures:

  • Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy
  • Ultrasound Guided Cervical Spine Injection
  • Ultrasound Guided Liver Biopsy
  • Ultrasound Guided Thyroid Biopsy
  • Ultrasound Guided Thoracentesis

The safe performance of diagnostic procedures is an important part of any medical practice. Both physicians and patients often prefer an ultrasound guided procedure when compared to a surgical, invasive procedure. Ultrasound technology is commonly used in biopsy procedures. When an ultrasound guided breast biopsy is scheduled, it usually means that during a routine mammogram there was an abnormality detected. A breast biopsy is used to extract fluid or cells from the tissue that will be sent to a laboratory for further testing.

Medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics and doctor offices, will continue to use ultrasound technology to treat patients. If you have any questions or comments regarding this topic, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

The following YouTube video is a short overview of an ultrasound guided breast evaluation:

How To Safely Use Sterile Ultrasound Gel Packets

Trying to maintain a sterile environment during an ultrasound procedure? It’s very important that all efforts are made to prevent infection and the spread of germs during these procedures and exams. The amount of ultrasound procedures in hospitals and doctor’s offices are increasing. We recommend that physicians and medical personnel use sterile ultrasound gel packets for any medical ultrasound application that requires sterile instruments.

When using non-sterile ultrasound gel in an ultrasound guided procedure, the risk for contamination is increased. The non-sterile ultrasound gel bottle should be squeezed to dispense gel without making contact with the patient’s skin. Bacteria can spread if an ultrasound gel bottle makes contact with a patient’s skin. To prevent this from happening, it is best to supply your medical staff with sterile ultrasound gel packets. These packets are single-use gels that are packaged in sterilized foil pouches.

There are easy steps for medical personnel to follow to ensure the ultrasound gel is sterile throughout the entire process. It is always important to continue using all sterile techniques in the medical setting. At the top of the ultrasound gel package, simply pull both folds away from one another to open. Without touching the inside pouch, drop the pouch onto a sterile surface (typically on a sterile cart or sterile drape depending on your setting). After the pouch is on a sterilized surface, your medical staff will pick up the packet while wearing sterile gloves. The packet has arrows indicating which side to tear in order to dispense the gel onto the patient or probe. Since our sterile ultrasound gel packet is a one time use only, you should discard the packet in the trash after use.

Always keep in mind the importance of maintaining a sterile medical setting when necessary. These ultrasound gel packets will help prevent contamination and spread of infection that may be caused with non-sterile ultrasound gels.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please feel free to leave a comment below. To request a free sample please click the button below.

 

What Is Attenuation?

Attenuation Defined

Attenuation is the measurement of energy absorbed and deflected as it passes through a medium. In simpler terms, attenuation is how much stopping power a material has on energy. Consider how energy travels; most energy forms, whether sound, heat, light or radiation, travel in waves.  The wavelength and amount of force propelling the energy affects how that energy reacts to any object in its path.  The atoms of the object will absorb some energy, deflect some energy or allow some energy to flow through. The measurement of the absorbed and deflected energy provides us with an attenuation rate for any given material.

Deflected energy is energy that’s original course of travel has been changed by an object in its path.  Deflected energy is also known as scatter energy. An example of deflected energy is present in the following rescue scenario: In a survival situation, a mirror can be used to signal for help by deflecting the sun’s light rays toward a rescue plane.  The energy source is the sunlight and the object is the mirror. When the mirror is placed in the path of the light waves, the mirror’s atoms deflect the energy in various new directions.  This scatter energy can be seen by the search and rescue team when flying overhead.

Absorbed energy is energy that is incorporated into the atoms of an object in its path. A musician in a recording studio appreciates the concept of absorbed energy when considering their sound proof walls. In this scenario, sound waves are the energy and foam padding is the material. As the instrument’s sound waves travel toward the foam padded walls, the atomic composition of the foam absorbs the sound energy.  This effective energy absorption is particularly important as it provides superior sound quality.  Without absorption by the foam padding, the sound energy would be deflected and the scattered sound waves would cause an echo in the recording.

The term attenuation is often heard when referring to an x-ray. The same concepts described above apply to medical x-rays. Radiation is the energy source and the target of clinical interest is the object. Radiation is emitted through medical imaging equipment and the energy is attenuated by a patient’s bones and internal structures to create an image. The use of x-ray energy allows doctors to see inside a patient without having to create an incision. The medical industry’s understanding of the attenuation concept is invaluable to every patient that has relied on medical imaging to ensure their health and well being.

Attenuation is an important concept which must be understood in many applications. Without an understanding of attenuation one may not survive a life threatening situation, music downloads would not sound clear and broken bones would not be easy to diagnose.  The world constantly uses the knowledge of attenuation to develop various technologies in an effort to realize optimal results.  Even today we continue to mix and match materials and energy sources to advance technology through the use of the attenuation concept.