An ultrasound tech showing a pregnant woman her baby.

5 Things Ultrasound Techs Do

It’s true that quite a bit of ultrasound technician’s work revolves around pregnancies, but they also are needed for a variety of other conditions.  Ultrasound technicians, or diagnostic medical sonographers, are highly trained medical professionals who use ultrasound machines to not only keep up with pregnancies, but also to verify the health of your other organs. There are several illnesses that may affect or enlarge your organs, so an ultrasound technician can assist your doctor in determining the best course of treatment that will make you feel better.

  1. Mononucleosis (Mono)
    Also known as the “kissing disease.” Common symptoms of Mono include fever, fatigue, swollen tonsils, sore throat, and malaise (general feeling of unwellness), but it can also lead to enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly). An ultrasound technician can check on the size of your spleen to make sure it is not becoming too enlarged, and if it is, they can help your doctor determine if it needs to be removed.

  2. Thyroid Conditions
    Thyroid conditions, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, can be diagnosed by ultrasound. Ultrasound technicians usually perform an ultrasound if the results of a thyroid function test come back abnormal. The ultrasound can help your doctor see if you have an overactive or underactive gland in your throat.

  3. Cysts
    If your doctor suspects a cyst on one of your organs, such as your ovary, he or she will probably order an ultrasound to confirm a diagnosis. Cysts resemble bubbles on the ultrasound, so it makes it them rather easy for the ultrasound technician to spot. These cysts are usually harmless and go away on their own, but an ultrasound is useful in discovering if they are too large and potentially harmful.

  4. Appendicitis
    Since the appendix is so small, appendicitis can be difficult to diagnose without some sort of imaging, especially in women. During the ultrasound, the ultrasound technician will press the transducer against the appendix and if it does not compress, it is likely that the appendix is inflamed and needs to be removed as soon as possible.

  5. Biopsies
    Ultrasound technicians are also helpful during surgeries because they can use the ultrasound machine to assist in directing the surgeon’s movements. Biopsies can sometimes be tricky, so ultrasounds give the surgeon a clear image of exactly what they are attempting to remove.

Last Updated: January 23, 2015