Ultrasound for kids uses sound waves to produce images of the organs and soft tissues inside the body, which are displayed in real time on a computer screen. Although ultrasounds for adults and children generally follow the same procedure, young patients require a different approach.
Ultrasound for kids can be performed on many parts of the body and are performed to investigate a number of anatomical areas and conditions. This particular medical scanning test concerns:
- The examination of the shape or structure of various parts of the body.
- Check for any signs of illness.
- Premature detection, treatment and management of diseases.
More specifically, ultrasounds are performed:
- Abdominal which includes the examination of all intra-abdominal organs such as the liver, gall bladder, kidneys and adrenal glands, bladder, pancreas and spleen.
- Thyroid gland and parathyroid glands.
- To examine the gastrointestinal system and find any diseases.
- Examination of the right iliac fossa.
- Lungs and chest cavity for the detection of many diseases such as pneumonia, pneumothorax and other diseases.
- The examination of soft tissues.
- Musculoskeletal system to look for problematic pathology in tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, spine and spinal canal.
- Skull and brain, which is usually performed on newborns and young infants.
- Hip in newborns and infants to look for any dysplasia or incomplete growth.
For the conduction of ultrasounds for children there are various preparations that is important to be accomplished depending on the age of the child and the part of the body that it has to be examined. In abdominal ultrasounds, the child is not allowed to eat or drink for a certain number of hours before the examination. The number of hours that the child cannot eat depends on the age at which he/she is. Before the ultrasounds examination of the kidneys, bladder and pelvis, the child must have a full bladder so that the examination will be able to performed. This requires drinking plenty of water and avoiding urination for one to one and a half hours before the test. No special preparation is required for ultrasounds of the musculoskeletal system, brain, thyroid, scrotum and soft tissues. In all ultrasounds for children, a family member is encouraged to stay with the child to help them feel comfortable with the procedure and to help them stay still. The cooperation of the child is the key factor for the correct conduct of the examination.