How Ultrasound Works

Your doctor may ask you to perform ultrasounds for different medical conditions. For pregnant women, having an ultrasound is a must in order to examine the growth of the baby or to find out the due date. If you’re having issues with your internal organs, your doctor will require an abdominal ultrasound to determine any irregularity. Ultrasound has been very useful to medical experts all through these years.

Ultrasound, also known as sonography, is a harmless and pain-free procedure. It generates images within the body through sound waves. Experts like the Intermountain Medical Imaging provide the most up-to-date ultrasound facilities.

The Ultrasound Machine and its Parts

An ultrasound machine creates pictures to scan the internal organs in the body. This machine transmits high-frequency sound pulses which will replicate the interior structures of the body using the transducer. Then, a computer will collect all the waves to form images.

  • The transducer is a handheld probe that sends and receives the sound waves.
  • The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is a computer that executes all the assessment and carries the electrical power supplies for itself and the transducer.
  • Using the transducer pulse control helps adjust the amplitude, frequency, and length of the pulses taken from the transducer.
  • The monitor shows the internal body’s image and the ultrasound data from the CPU.
  • The keyboard and cursor work to enter and acquire data from the display.
  • The disk storing device serves as storage for the images which can be a hard drive or CD.
  • The printer produces the hard copy of the images of the presented data.


  • First, observe the proper preparation for an ultrasound before the test.
  • The patient will need to lie down.
  • Then, the doctor will spread a clear, water-based gel onto the skin of the area to be scanned. This gel boosts the transmission of the sound waves.
  • Lastly, a transducer is stirred onto the part being examined. The doctor may need you to alter your position in order to have a clearer view or check other areas.

The Process of Ultrasound

We have already tackled the purpose of ultrasound. We’ve also learned the procedure of ultrasound and the machine used to perform this. Below is the explanation of how the ultrasound works.

  1. The sound waves will go through the body and bump into a boundary amongst tissues like between a soft tissue and a bone, or fluid.
  2. A part of the sound waves will be mirrored back to the probe and others moved on further till they go through a different boundary and get reflected.
  3. These reflected waves are gathered by the probe and transmitted to the CPU.
  4. Then, the machine analyzes the distance from the transducer to the organ or tissue boundaries by the speed of sound which is 5,005 Ft. /s or1, 540 m/s and the duration of each echo’s return. It is usually on the imperative of millionths of a second.
  5. The ultrasound machine can show now the distances and intensities of the echoes on the monitor which will form two-dimensional images.

Final Thoughts

If not for this revolutionary and amazingly effective apparatus, we cannot possibly discover a tumor or detect any abnormalities inside the human body, and observe the gratifying scene of a developing life inside the uterus.