In response to COVID-19, we are taking steps to prioritize our community’s health and safety. Learn more about Your New Experience and what we are doing to keep you safe. You may call the Weill Cornell Imaging access center: (212) 746-6000, with any questions.
Weill Cornell Imaging at NewYork-Presbyterian

Ultrasound

Exam Forms

All forms should be completed in advance of your appointment. Please follow the links below to access the Ultrasound General Form required for your upcoming appointment. If you are having a Gynecologic (Pelvic) Ultrasound exam, please complete the Gynecologic Form Gynecologic Form instead of the general form.   

Ultrasound General Form 

PDF icon Ultrasound Gynecologic Form   

Exam Preparation

Please notify our staff when scheduling if you need an interpreter to assist you with your native language.

Arrive at the time of your appointment. Weill Cornell Imaging at NewYork-Presbyterian is limiting the number of patients in our offices at any one time. Patients who arrive early may be asked to return at the time they are scheduled.

Unless needed for physical assistance or to translate for you, visitors are not allowed to accompany patients at any of our practices. For pediatric patients, one parent may accompany a child. 

What should I wear to my appointment?

Wearing the right clothing may eliminate the need for you to change into a gown prior to your exam. For ultrasound exams, wear something that is comfortable and easy to remove.

Do I need to fast before my exam?

Depending on the type of exam you are having, you may need to fast before your exam. Please note, if you are diabetic you may have a light meal (tea and toast) before the exam and you may bring a snack with you at your appointment. Please contact us to coordinate medication and diet prior to exam.

  • Abdominal ultrasound (liver, gallbladder, right upper quadrant): No food or liquids six (6) hours prior to exam time. Morning appointments are preferred. If medication must be taken on the day of the exam, you may do so with water only.
  • Pelvic ultrasound: Upon arrival in the office, drink two (2) 8-ounce glasses of water. After drinking water, you should not empty (void) your bladder until after the exam.

What should I bring with me on the day of my appointment?

  • A copy of the prescription for your examination if it was given to you.
  • Your insurance information.
  • A completed exam form if you did not already email it to us.
  • A list of your current medications.

What can I expect on the day of my appointment?

All of our imaging practices have procedures in place to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. These include:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection protocols for all equipment and surfaces in all common and clinical areas and between each appointment. 
  • Hand sanitizer and appropriate disinfecting wipes in each clinical area. 
  • Managing patient schedules and waiting rooms to ensure appropriate social distancing.  
  • Universal mask policy for patients, visitors and staff. 

All patients and visitors are clinically screened upon arrival including a temperature check.

Patient verification is an important part of your safety and you will be asked to verify your identification and your exam several times during your appointment. Our check-in staff will review your completed registration forms with you.

How is an ultrasound performed?

  • You will be positioned on a table in order to allow optimal visualization of the structures that are being evaluated.
  • An ultrasound technologist will apply a gel-like substance onto your skin in the area of interest (the gel acts as a conductor).
  • Using a transducer, a tool that sends ultrasound waves, the ultrasound will be sent through your body. There are no confirmed adverse biological effects on you or instrument operators caused by exposures to ultrasound.
  • The ultrasound technologist will move the probe along the skin in order to improve visualization and obtain the necessary images.
  • The sound from the transducer will be reflected off structures inside the body, and the information from the sounds will be analyzed by a computer.
  • The computer will create an image of these structures on a television screen. The moving pictures can be recorded on film videotape.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound exams in which the transducer probe is inserted into an opening of the body, such as the vagina or rectum, provide a closer look at internal structures and are usually well tolerated with minimal discomfort. Always notify the technologist if you experience any pain during an examination.
  • Once the exam is complete, the gel is wiped off the skin and you will be asked to wait while the images are reviewed with the physician radiologist in order to ensure that all of the necessary information was obtained. In some cases, the physician may request additional images. We strive, however, to make your visit with us as quick and as pleasant as possible. Most ultrasound examinations take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Our staff is available to address any questions or concerns that you might have before, during, or after your appointment. Please call (212) 746-6000 if you wish to speak with us.

 

Health Library

Ultrasound

What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound procedure is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure used to assess soft tissue structures such as muscles, blood vessels, and organs.

Ultrasound uses a transducer that sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed at certain locations and angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the organs and structures within. The sound waves bounce off the organs like an echo and return to the transducer. The transducer picks up the reflected waves, which are then converted by a computer into an electronic picture of the organs or tissues under study.

Different types of body tissues affect the speed at which sound waves travel. Sound travels the fastest through bone tissue, and moves most slowly through air. The speed at which the sound waves are returned to the transducer, as well as how much of the sound wave returns, is translated by the transducer as different types of tissue.

A clear conducting gel is placed between the transducer and the skin to allow for smooth movement of the transducer over the skin and to eliminate air between the skin and the transducer for the best sound conduction.

By using an additional mode of ultrasound technology during an ultrasound procedure, blood flow can be assessed. An ultrasound transducer capable of assessing blood flow contains a Doppler probe. The Doppler probe within the transducer evaluates the velocity and direction of blood flow in the vessel by making the sound waves audible. The degree of loudness of the audible sound waves indicates the rate of blood flow within a blood vessel. Absence or faintness of these sounds may indicate an obstruction (blockage) of blood flow.

Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs as they function (in "real time," like a live TV broadcast), and to assess blood flow through various vessels. Ultrasound procedures are often used to examine many parts of the body such as the abdomen, breasts, female pelvis, prostate, scrotum, thyroid and parathyroid glands, and the vascular system. During pregnancy, ultrasounds are performed to evaluate the development of the fetus.

Technological advancements in the field of ultrasound now include images that can be made in a three-dimensional view (3-D) and/or four dimensional (4-D) view. The added dimension of the 4-D is motion, so that it is a 3-D view with movement.

 

Weill Cornell Imaging at NewYork-Presbyterian

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