How does an ultrasound machine work?
A painless technique used by doctors to diagnose the human body. Ultrasound ensures the doctors check what is happening inside the human body. There is no need to do surgery and almost the state of internal organs can be known using this technique.
Meanwhile, sonography is a part of ultrasound which helps in knowing much about fetal development. It helps in determining the due date for the expecting mothers.
A Boon to Doctors and Patients
Earlier, when the medical field was not technically advanced, the doctors diagnosed patients with a feel. They would determine the underlying cause by feeling the affected organ of the patient’s body. With all their experience they relied on this technique.
However, now ultrasound has been a boon to the medical field and doctors got great help. Now, even the smallest of changes inside the human body can be found with ultrasound imaging.
What are the Components of an Ultrasound Machine?
When it comes to the process of how the machine works, it is non-invasive and painless. Secondly, comparing ultrasound with X-ray machines differs in electromagnetic waves and ultrasound waves.
Talking about the components used in an ultrasound machine, it consists of the following parts.
The function of the transducer probe is to send sound waves and receive the echo in return. It can generate millions of sound waves every second using the piezoelectric effect principle.
The CPU mainly powers the transducer probe and helps in the function of sending and receiving sound waves. It is the brain of the ultrasound machine. Further, it also performs the calculations thereby showing images of internal organs on the screen.
The pulse controls are used to change the amplitude, frequencies, and at what duration the pulses are emitted. These controls can be accessed from the transducer probe.
The display unit is a part of the CPU (Central processing unit) that shows the imagery. The images are processed that are fetched using the ultrasound waves.
A keyboard and pointing device are used to take measurements from the display as well as input data.
A storage device that can be used to store the images fetched from the sound waves. It can be a hard disk or a CD.
The only function is to print the acquired images from the displayed data.
How does an ultrasound machine work? – The process
Patients are often advised by doctors to go for an ultrasound. Either you are pregnant and the doctor wants to know the development of the baby. Secondly, you have discomfort and want to know what is the root cause of the problem. Here, the doctor advises you for an ultrasound – the best imaging technique used in the medical field.
Talking about the process of how the machine works, we would like to share it with the events that happen. Before the ultrasound examination, the doctor makes sure to drape a cloth over the areas not need to check.
- The doctor uses the ultrasound machine to transmit high frequencies ranging from 1 to 5 MHz into your body. The sound waves or pulses will go into the body using a transducer probe. Here the doctor will apply a jelly kind of substance over the skin. It helps in using the transducer probe by eliminating the air thereby passing the sound waves into the body.
- As the sound waves travel into your body, they will hit the tissue boundary. These tissues can be soft tissue, tissue with a bone, and some fluids. The doctor can move the probe along the surface of the body to fetch different views. You may require to change positions depending on the areas to examine.
- The sound waves get reflected in the transducer probe giving an echo in return. Meanwhile, some of the sound waves reach another boundary but they don’t get reflected promptly.
- The sound waves that got reflected in the transducer probe are then relayed into the machine.
- Once the sound waves are in the machine, here the CPU performs the calculations. These calculations provide the distance from the probe to the tissue or an organ. It is usually measured using the speed of sound in the tissue with a return echo.
- Based on the distance calculated and the intensity of the echo, a 2-dimensional image is formed. This image is a slice of the 3-dimensional image. Patients also go for other types of ultrasound namely 3D ultrasound and Doppler.
After these steps, the process of the ultrasound machine is over. You may get the acquired images as hard copies using the printer.