As mentioned in yesterday’s Tip of the Day, ultrasound is an excellent imaging technique for looking at solid organs. It has found a particular home in the visualization of the pelvic organs in women – the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
There are two techniques used in pelvic ultrasound – transabdominal and transvaginal. In patients
that are not pregnant they should generally be used together to get the best images.
Transabdominal ultrasound is performed by placing the transducer or sound probe on the skin of the lower abdomen and the flanks. It should be done with a full, distended bladder because the air-filled bowel can make obtaining images difficult. The uterus (particularly the upper part or fundus), ovaries, and kidneys can be visualized with this technique.
Transvaginal ultrasound is performed by placing the transducer into the vagina and next to the cervix. It can be performed with an empty bladder. This technique can give a closer look at the ovaries, the uterus, and fallopian tubes. It is commonly done by gynecologists who specialize in infertility. It is better than transabdominal ultrasound in picking up early gestational sacs and dilated fallopian tubes or hydrosalpinx.
Although not a recommended screening test or approved by the American College of Obstretics and Gynecology (ACOG), many women obtain these tests every six months or so to watch for changes in the ovaries that could signal ovarian cancer.
Copyright 2006 Insidesurgery.com