The ultrasound department at ETMC Tyler offers a friendly and comfortable atomosphere for patients. Our staffers have years of experience which allow them to function quickly and effectively when your doctor orders an ultrasound exam.

About ultrasound

Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves and their echoes to create an image. The primary advantage of ultrasound is that internal organs and other structures can be observed without using radiation. The ultrasound machine transmits sound pulses into the body using a probe.

The sound waves travel through the body until they hit a boundary between tissues (e.g. between fluid and soft tissue, soft tissue and bone). At the boundary, some of the sound waves get reflected back to the probe, while some travel on further until they reach another boundary and get reflected.

The reflected waves are detected by the probe and relayed to the machine, which calculates the distance from the probe to the tissue or organ. The machine displays the distances and intensities of the echoes on the screen, forming an image.


Ultrasound that is enhanced with the use of additional technologies appears to be even more effective for detecting abnormalities. A new development in ultrasound involves the use of color Doppler imaging. Doppler imaging is a technique that can detect differences in velocity (i.e. blood flow versus solid tissue) and transmits these differences in the form of different colors on a screen. This technique allows physicians to better determine the presence and exact location of a structure within the body.


If you have been scheduled for an ultrasound, these are the general guidelines for preparation.

Abdominal procedures

  • Nothing by mouth for six to eight hours before procedure
  • Medications should be taken as usual
  • Pelvic/OB procedures must have full bladder

Invasive procedures

  • Nothing by mouth past midnight the day of procedure
  • Patient must not be on any blood thinners

Small parts procedures (including thyroid)

  • No special preparations necessary