General Ultrasound

One of the most versatile imaging studies that provides prompt and pertinent information to assess and diagnose a variety of health conditions. 

Expert Care When You Need It

Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, uses sound waves to provide information about internal organs, vascular structures and soft tissues. The most frequently performed studies include imaging of the thyroid, carotid arteries, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, uterus, ovaries, extremity veins, testicles and urinary bladder. During the study, ultrasound data is gathered in real-time and displayed on a computer monitor in the exam room. The technologist obtains the images and the radiologist interprets the findings. At times, the radiologist may scan the patient to obtain more information or to clarify findings.

Some medical symptoms require a quick diagnostic evaluation to rule out a potentially acute issue. Rather than face a lengthy wait in a hospital emergency room, we perform same-day ultrasound studies to assess the suspected condition and promptly return the patient to the care of their referring physician.

FAQs

Ultrasound uses sound waves and their echoes, rather than X-rays, to view internal anatomy. Thus, the patient is not exposed to ionizing radiation. Ultrasound also can provide information about structures that cannot be gathered by conventional X-ray. In most ultrasound examinations, a hand-held transducer and warm gel are placed on the patient's skin. The transducer is both a transmitter and receiver, sending sound waves to the tissues. The reflected echoes are displayed as a two-dimensional image on a video screen.

Depending on the type of ultrasound exam that your doctor has ordered and the reason for the exam, your insurance company may require pre-certification. Because this is dependent on your individual insurance plan, we recommend checking with your insurance company before scheduling your exam. The good news is that ultrasound is frequently viewed as the first step in the diagnostic process for a variety of conditions and health issues, and for that reason, many insurance plans do not require advance precertification.

Ultrasound uses sound waves and their echoes, rather than X-rays, to view internal anatomy. There is no ionizing radiation used during an ultrasound exam. It is a safe, painless and noninvasive study.

Washington Radiology has been providing ultrasound procedures for more than 65 years. Our team has extensive experience, interpreting more than 80,000 ultrasound examinations each year. Research shows there is a significant improvement in the quality of an ultrasound interpretation when read by a specialized radiologist. Washington Radiology physicians are board-certified by the American Board of Radiology, with subspecialty training in the field of ultrasound. As such, they are the most highly trained and skilled ultrasound specialists in the country.

A board-certified radiologist at Washington Radiology will interpret your scan typically within 24 hours or less. The radiologist will dictate their findings and the report will be sent to your referring physician. Your physician will then reach out to you to share your study results.

The ultrasound exam length varies based on the type of ultrasound exam ordered and the patient's history. It can be anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.

Preparing for Your Exam

During scheduling, a Washington Radiology team member will review with you the preparation instructions specific to your general ultrasound exam. These instructions are repeated here for easy reference.

In addition to the written order from your doctor, please remember to bring any prior images or reports from outside Washington Radiology with you if related to the reason for your visit.

Pelvic Ultrasound

  • To accurately perform this procedure, it is important for your bladder to be full.
  • Please do not empty your bladder beginning two hours prior to your examination.
  • It is not necessary to drink any specific amount of water before your arrival.

Renal Ultrasound

To accurately perform this procedure it is important for your bladder to be full. Please follow these instructions carefully.

  • Two hours prior to your appointment, drink at least 16 ounces of water.
  • Do not urinate until instructed to do so after images are obtained.

Abdominal Ultrasound

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your morning appointment, or for at least 6 hours prior to your afternoon appointment.

Sonohysterogram (SHG)

  • For premenopausal women, this exam must be performed between days 6-10 of the patient’s menstrual cycle (day 1 is the first day of menstrual flow).
  • If your periods are irregular, call us on the first day of your period and we will schedule your exam between days 6-10.
  • To accurately perform this procedure it is important for your bladder to be full. Please do not empty your bladder beginning two hours prior to your examination.
  • It is not necessary to drink any specific amount of water before your arrival.
  • This exam cannot be performed if there is a possibility of the patient being pregnant, patient is pregnant, or patient has a pelvic infection.

Transrectal Prostate Ultrasound

  • Use a Fleet enema 1 hour before your appointment. This preparation with instructions can be purchased from your local pharmacy

Our Locations

Coordinates
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Fairfax, VA

1
0.09mi

3022 Williams Drive
Fairfax, VA 22031

Chevy Chase, MD

2
10.16mi

4445 Willard Avenue
Suite 200
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Washington, DC

3
10.25mi

2141 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

Bethesda, MD

4
11.98mi

10215 Fernwood Road
Suite 103
Bethesda, MD 20817

Sterling, VA

5
14.86mi

21351 Ridgetop Circle
Sterling, VA 20166