Ultrasounds are non-invasive diagnostic procedures that are used every day in hospitals, and the sonograms--or digital images--they produce are invaluable in helping doctors determine the next step to take when dealing with a patient. When most people hear the words "ultrasound" or "sonogram" (the two are often used interchangeably) they think almost exclusively of tests ordered for pregnant women so that new mothers can see how their child is developing in the womb. But ultrasounds are good for more than just fetal pictures. In fact, if you are a guy, there are lots of reasons to order an ultrasound the next time you have an annual checkup.
Heart disease kills more men in the United States than any other single cause, and most heart attacks are caused by the clogging of central arteries. Ultrasound imaging can detect plaque buildup in these arteries and help surgeons to locate other potentially problematic issues. If you know that you are at risk for heart disease, stroke, or hypertension, consult with your doctor about getting an ultrasound.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, and like all cancer, it is best prevented through early detection and annual checkups. If the men in your family have a history of prostate cancer, you may want to have an ultrasound done during you next checkup to help your doctor determine whether or not they need to perform a biopsy.
Ultrasounds are so effective that they can quickly spot abnormalities with liver and kidney function. Even things like gallstones and colon cancer can be easily detected with a simple ultrasound procedure. So if you are experiencing severe abdominal discomfort of any kind, head to the hospital for a sonogram and diagnosis.
Doctors who tend to athletes probably utilize ultrasounds more than anyone. That is because ultrasounds are perfect for pinpointing strained muscles, nerve damage and even musculoskeletal tumors. Injuries that are especially common among athletes, such as stressed ligaments, torn rotator cuffs, and tendon damage are also easily diagnosed using a standard ultrasound. But even if you are an extremely active person, muscle damage can lead to more significant problems that aren't as easily diagnosed or fixed. So next time you find yourself experiencing unusual muscle pain, talk to an experienced doctor from a clinic like All Women's Clinic about how an ultrasound might benefit your future treatment.