Ultrasound is simply a frequency of sound which the (adult) human ear is incapable of detecting. It is used in imaging by emitting soundwaves which reflect back to the detection device, and thus build up a ‘picture’ of the target area. Ultrasound has been used by radiologists for more than 50 years, and is most famously used in the monitoring of the foetus in the womb. It is also, however, useful in visualizing tendons, muscles and various internal organs – indeed, non-obstetric ultrasound examinations constitute 65% of all scans conducted.
Ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation, and is generally described as a ‘safe test’, meaning that patients can undergo sonography with confidence and without concern. Though ultrasound is capable of ‘heating’ soft tissue, modern ultrasound equipment does not utilise power levels of sufficient intensity to make this heat damaging. Rather, ultrasound is a versatile imaging modality capable of detecting a wide variety of soft tissue conditions.
At Heartlands, Good Hope, Solihull Hospitals, Community Services and Birmingham Chest Clinic part of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, our ultrasound team carry out a wide array of ultrasound scans using excellent equipment. We’re proud of our dedicated team of specialists and their high level of experience and expertise, and a number of our sub-specialities make use of this modality in imaging.
In imaging across the trust we use various state of the art ultrasound scanners, including the GE Logiq E9 and Toshiba Aplio 500. The obstetric department is equipped with the GE Voluson range of machines.
The trust actively promotes role extension with Radiologists continually advancing interventional ultrasound. We also have sonographers that can perform an extensive range of ultrasound procedures normally performed by radiologists, including musculo-skeletal and thyroid examinations, along with some ultrasound-guided interventional procedures such as Hickman line insertions and breast biopsies.