Ultrasound - General

Ultrasound - General

Ultrasound is a valuable tool for helping guide procedures non-invasively. Radiologists can use ultrasound to examine fluid collection in many parts of the body such as tendons, muscles, cysts and soft-tissue masses, with ultrasound as a kind of "locator":

  • Fluid can be located properly and drawn for examination from various parts of the body
  • Biopsies can be accurately guided
  • Cysts and abscesses can bee drained
  • Some kinds of tendinitis can be treated


Common Procedures


A procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs and the wall of the chest. Sonography is a way to guide the needle that is inserted into the pleural space to withdraw fluid.

Prep - there is no special preparation for this study

What to Expect - You will be positioned in bed or sitting on the edge of a chair or bed with your head and arms resting on a table. The skin around the procedure site is disinfected and the area is draped. A local anesthetic is injected into the skin and the tharacentesis needle is inserted above the rib into the pleural space. Fluid is withdrawn and collected and may be sent to the laboratory for analysis


A procedure in which a needle is inserted through the abdominal wall into the peritoneal cavity to obtain a sample of any fluid that is present. Sonography helps the doctor guide the needle into the abdomen.

Prep - there is no special preparation for this study

What to Expect - You may have the puncture site cleansed and shaved if necessary. You will be given an anesthetic. A needle is inserted one or two inches into the abdomen. Sometimes, a small incision is made to help insert the needle. The fluid will be withdrawn with a syringe and, if necessary, a dressing will be applied to the puncture site.

Biopsy Guided by Ultrasound

A particularly effective way to evaluate an abnormality without surgically removing tissue. A biopsy needle guided by an ultrasound imaging transducer can be injected directly into a mass removing tissue sparingly.

Prep - Preparation for an ultrasound guided biopsy depends on the organ being biopsied.

Please check with your physician or call us at (434) 924-9315

What to Expect - Ultrasound guided biopsy involves locating the mass with ultrasound and then using a core needle method to withdraw the specimen. If you are having this procedure you will be lying on your back or turned a bit. The radiologist will use an ultrasound probe to inject a numbing agent where the sample will be taken. Then, the probe will help guide the needle into the mass where a number of samples will be taken.


Also known as sonohysterography or saline infusion sonography, is a special minimally invasive ultrasound technique. It provides pictures of the inside of a woman's uterus.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Hysterosonography is often used to investigate uterine abnormalities in women who experience infertility or multiple miscarriages.

It is also a valuable technique for evaluating unexplained vaginal bleeding that may be the result of uterine abnormalities such as:

  • congenital defects
  • masses
  • adhesions (or scarring)
  • polyps
  • fibroids
  • atrophy

What to Expect
- For hysterosonography, sterile saline is injected into the uterus, distending or enlarging the uterine (endometrial) cavity. The saline outlines the lesion and allows for easy visualization and measurement. Saline and air my also be injected into the uterus so that the physician can look for air bubbles passing through the fallopian tubes, which would indicate patency of the fallopian tubes.

Following the baseline exam, the trans-vaginal probe will be removed, and a sterile speculum will be inserted as the patient lies on her back with her knees held to her chest or her feet in stirrups. The cervix will be cleansed, and a catheter inserted into the uterine cavity. Once the catheter is in place, the speculum will be removed, and the trans-vaginal probe will be reinserted into the vaginal canal. Sterile saline will then be injected into the catheter as sonography is being performed.


For any questions or concerns:

Contact the Radiology and Medical Imaging department at 434-924-9400.