What To Expect When Getting A Lung Ultrasound

Does your doctor want you to get an ultrasound to check on the health of your lungs? You may not be aware that an ultrasound is used for more than just checking on the health of a pregnant mother and her baby. Here is what you can expect when getting an ultrasound.

Understanding What Can Be Caught

There are several reasons why a doctor will want to perform a lung ultrasound. It can be used to look for lung cancer, which can help in early diagnosis of this condition. If you are suffering from chest pain, wheezing, or shallow breaths, an ultrasound can help identify if there is water within your lung causing pulmonary edema. Another condition is pleural effusion, which is when there is fluid surrounding the lungs. The symptoms of this condition include coughing and shortness of breath.

Applying Ultrasound Gel

Preparing for a lung ultrasound is kind of different if you've never had one done before. The doctor is actually going to put a special gel on your chest to help aid with performing the ultrasound. Since ultrasound uses sound waves to transmit an image, the gel reduces the amount of air between your skin and the ultrasound device to provide a clear picture on the screen. 

Identifying The Lung

The doctor is going to start by identifying the location of the lung, which is done by looking for what is known as the plural line. If you are looking at a lung ultrasound from the top down, you'll be looking at the ultrasound from the outside in. There is the layer of skin, the subcutaneous layer, the muscular layer, the cortex of your ribs, the intercostal area, the hyperechoic line below your ribs, and then the plural line. 

The ultrasound device will need to be held at the correct angle so that these elements are displayed in that order, which gives a clear view of the lung. This is why the doctor may be adjusting the device by rotating and tilting it so that they can get the proper view to look at your lung. 

Knowing The Risks

The great thing about using ultrasound technology is that there is no health risk to the patient or the doctor. Unlike an x-ray, an ultrasound does not use any radiation to see inside the body. The sound waves will be perfectly safe and have no side effects that you need to be concerned about

To learn more, contact ultrasound services in your area.