Ultrasound exams are safe, painless, fast and readily accessible. Ultrasound exams can be safely performed on patients of all ages, including pregnant patients. Ultrasound exams also have the benefit of providing a “live” look inside the body which can increase the ability to detect an abnormality. An ultrasound required a schedule appointment. We perform outpatient ultrasound exams at the Mercy Health Pavilion, Mercy Health Lakes Village and at the Lakes Village Comprehensive Breast Center during normal business hours. We also perform inpatient and emergent ultrasound exams at our hospital locations.
What is ultrasound used for?
Ultrasound can be performed on any body part and is mainly used to evaluate for internal soft tissue abnormalities. Excellent for evaluating certain body parts but is of limited value for evaluating other body parts. Can also be used as a screening tool to assess anatomy (for example, screening of a patient for an abdominal aortic aneurysm or evaluation of the fetal anatomy in a pregnant patient). Ultrasound is also used for imaging-guidance during some interventional procedural exams.
Where do I go for an ultrasound exam?
Ultrasound exams require a scheduled appointment. Outpatient ultrasound exams are typically performed at the Mercy Health Pavilion during normal business hours. Ultrasound exams are also performed at our hospital locations, urgent care centers and at the Mercy Health Comprehensive Breast Center. Some ultrasound exams are performed at specialist physician’s offices.
How do I prepare for an ultrasound exam?
Loose fitting clothing is recommended. Patients may be asked to change into a gown provided by the imaging facility, remove jewelry or empty pockets prior to the exam. Prior to a scheduled appointment some preparation may be required. Patients may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for a certain length of time prior to the exam, however taking daily medication(s) is usually recommended. You may be asked to fill or empty your bladder for some ultrasound exams. Some interventional procedures using ultrasound guidance require a radiology nurse to insert an IV for hydration purposes or injection of sedative medication.
What are the benefits and risks of an ultrasound exam?
Ultrasound is safe, painless and relatively accessible. Ultrasound uses no ionizing radiation to create images. Ultrasound can provide a “live” look inside the body allowing direct visual assessment of anatomy and function of body parts. Ultrasound is portable and can be performed quickly. Ultrasound provides real time imaging guidance during interventional procedures. There are no significant risks to patient health for ultrasound itself.
What will I experience during an ultrasound exam?
An ultrasound itself is painless. Some discomfort may be experienced during an ultrasound exam mainly due to required positioning of the body part to be imaged. The vast majority of ultrasound exams are tolerated well by patients.
How do I get the results of an ultrasound exam?
Exam results are usually available within 24 hours after the exam is performed. Once the exam is interpreted and reported by the radiologist, the exam results become immediately available for review by the requesting physician through the secure Mercy Health Partners patient portal system and the results become part of the patient’s permanent medical record. Patients can request a copy of their images and/or report at the performing imaging facility.
Are the costs of an ultrasound exam covered by insurance?
The vast majority of ultrasound exam costs are covered by private insurance plans and Medicaid/Medicare plans. Generally speaking, the cost of most ultrasound exams are low. At Radiology Muskegon, we strive to reduce unnecessary costs incurred by patients. There are options available to patients for financial assistance or reduced payment plan options if patients are not able to pay the costs of imaging.