Medical Imaging Northwest | Ultrasound


What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasound technology uses sound waves to reflect off internal structures and tissues. Ultrasound is a high frequency sound wave similar to the sonar a ship uses to detect structures beneath the surface of the water. It is noninvasive, which means it uses no needles or tubes. An important feature of ultrasound is its use of sound waves to obtain images as opposed to radiation. This makes it safe to use on expectant mothers and small children.

How should I prepare?

Appointments for ultrasound exams and special procedures may be made at our Puyallup, Bonney Lake and Sunrise Imaging Centers or in the radiology departments of our hospital locations (MultiCare Good Samaritan in Puyallup; Allenmore in Tacoma).

Specific preparation instructions may vary according to the specific test ordered, i.e. limited food or liquid intake for some examinations and heavy water intake for others. The Receptionist will provide specific instructions when scheduling you for an examination. Here are a few of the suggestions you may be asked to follow:

For Abdominal Ultrasound: Eat a fat-free diet the day prior to the exam. The day of the exam, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
For Pelvic Ultrasound: Finish drinking 32 ounces of water one-hour prior to examination time.
For Renal Ultrasound: Finish drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes prior to examination time.
For Obstetrical Ultrasound: Preparation for this examination depends on your trimester of pregnancy. Ask for specific instructions when making your appointment.

Also, please make arrangements to keep your children at home on the day of your appointment. There are no childcare services onsite...and due to the presence of radiation, children are not allowed to enter exam rooms during imaging procedures.

What should I expect?

During the exam, you will be asked to lie on a table while a transducer or ultrasound probe (a device which produces the sound waves and receives their echoes) is placed in contact with the skin over the organ of interest. The images are "real time" as displayed on a video screen. They can be recorded on film or videotape as they are being made.

Results are usually available within 3 working days after the procedure. Please contact your referring provider at that time.

Which locations provide this service?

  • Puyallup Imaging Center
  • Sunrise Image Center
  • Bonney Lake Imaging Center
We are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in ultrasound.

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