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Doctor insights on: Why Is Ultrasound Safer Than X Rays

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Are ultrasounds safer than x-rays?

Are ultrasounds safer than x-rays?

X-rays: Contribute to a slight theoretical increased lifetime cancer risk. Diagnostic ultrasound has no known deleterious effects. All else being equal, then, to the best of our knowledge, US would be considered safer. ...Read more

Dr. Michael Gabor
2,275 Doctors shared insights

Sonogram (Definition)

An ultraound, also known as a sonogram, is a painless and relatively inexpensive imaging test that utilizes sound waves instead of ionizing radiation. There are no side effects. Ultrasound can give us two-dimensional, and in some applications three-dimensional, images of structures and organs in virtually any part of the body. In addition to diagnostic uses, such as evaluating abnormalities in the abdomen, pelvis, and breast, ultrasounds are commonly used to guide needle and catheter placement in a variety of surgical ...Read more


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20yo. Calf pain. Ultrasound normal, blood work normal. Went to ER, SOB, CT w/dye normal, X-ray normal, EKG normal. Anxiety? Flying in the AM safe?

20yo. Calf pain. Ultrasound normal, blood work normal. Went to ER, SOB, CT w/dye normal, X-ray normal, EKG normal. Anxiety? Flying in the AM safe?

I think it is safe.: Apparently they looked for blood clot in your legs and lungs and did not find any. It could be anxiety or myalgia or something similar to it. If otherwise you are a healthy person then there is no reason for not flying. During flying I would suggest streching your legs by moving around whenever you get an opportunity as a preventive measure for the DVT. ...Read more

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What do you call a person that takes x-rays and does ultrasounds?

What do you call a person that takes x-rays and does ultrasounds?

Techs!: Radiographers (xray tech) takes xrays
Ultrasonographers (ultrasound tech) takes ultrasounds

Radiologists (physician) primarily read these imaging studies although cardiologists and other physicians may read specialized studies. ...Read more

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Does a person need to fast for gallbladder function tests such as ultrasound, X-ray etc.?

Does a person need to fast for gallbladder function tests such as ultrasound, X-ray etc.?

Yes, usually: The gallbladder contracts in response to certain stimuli, most physiologic is the presence of food (fat) in the stomach/small intestine. However ultrasound, looking for stones, is best done when the gallbladder is full, of bile, so that the ultrasound waves can penetrate into the gallbladder.
I noticed that you are jaundiced, at your age, this needs immediate attention. Please see a liver doctor ...Read more

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Ultrasound vs x ray, which is better/more efficient?

Ultrasound vs x ray, which is better/more efficient?

Depends: Ultrasound and x-rays are both used to "look" into the body for diagnosis. X-ray uses ionizing radiation which is safe in doses given for usual images, ultrasound uses high frequency sound. Each modality has its strengths and weaknesses depending on the part of the body being imaged or the disease process the doctor is looking for. ...Read more

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How do they find out that you are schizophrenic? Like X-ray or like ultrasound?

Diagnosis: Of schizophrenia is not made by imaging. It is made after a thorough psychiatric evaluation. As such it is a clinical diagnosis. ...Read more

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During an injection in my left buttock the 25 gauge needle broke off inside. An X-ray and two ultrasounds cannot locate it. What's the next step?

During an injection in my left buttock the 25 gauge needle broke off inside. An X-ray and two ultrasounds cannot locate it. What's the next step?

Hard: To understand that an XR and ultrasound will not show the broken needle. Commonly a local exploration of the point of entrance will show and help remove the needle ...Read more

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For what reasons ultrasound is preferred to x-rays for ovarian tumour?

For what reasons ultrasound is preferred to x-rays for ovarian tumour?

See answer: Plain x-rays do not identify the ovary - ultrasound particularly endovaginal ultrasound not only identifies the ovary accurately but also the bloodflow/vascularity which is a concern in ovarian torsion. ...Read more

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What do the following instruments detect (i want to understand the differences among them): ultrasound, mri, & an x-ray?

What do the following instruments detect (i want to understand the differences among them): ultrasound, mri, & an x-ray?

Different physics: Ultrasound images come from reflected sound waves so show "echogenicity" of tissues. X-ray images are like shadows - x-rays are blocked by denser materials ("radio-opaque" like bone, metal) and give "shadows" of what is not as dense. Mri images reflect differences in the chemical composition of the tissue (brain's gray matter v white; heart v lung; fat v muscle) via magnetic fields ; radio waves. ...Read more

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Is it true that PT like ultrasound, tens, laser expose the body to radiation? Is it like X-Ray? What is the approx dose from 10 visits?

Is it true that PT like ultrasound, tens, laser expose the body to radiation? Is it like X-Ray? What is the approx dose from 10 visits?

Physical Therapy: Uses non-ionizing radiation. Xray and CT are ionizing radiation, which you should seek to reduce exposure to whenever possible. However, ultrasound, TENS and laser use sound, electricity and light energy which are generally regarded as safe in these therapeutic amounts. ...Read more

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I had an ultrasound done and it showed a 6-7mm kidney stone. The X-ray showed clear. What one is right?

I had an ultrasound done and it showed a 6-7mm kidney stone. The X-ray showed clear. What one is right?

Stones: A small kidney stones detected by ultrasound can sometimes be missed in plain x-rays. You should go with the ultrasound results. They are small and in your case asymptomatic in many cases they pass on their own hydrate yourself well and read about diet that decreases future stone formation. ...Read more

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I have had pain and tightness on my upper right side for 2 weeks. Blood test, X - ray, and ultrasound all came back normal. Any suggestions?

I have had pain and tightness on my upper right side for 2 weeks. Blood test, X - ray, and ultrasound all came back normal. Any suggestions?

Musculoskeeltal apin: Most probably it is muscular pain, which is not going to be show up on blood work or x rays. ...Read more

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I've got 0.5cm tear on my rotator cuff according to X-ray & ultrasound results. Local gp said it would heal in time. Still a bit of pain after 3 mths.?

I've got 0.5cm tear on my rotator cuff according to X-ray & ultrasound results. Local gp said it would heal in time. Still a bit of pain after 3 mths.?

Multiple Options: Unfortunately the size of the tear per ultrasound is not correlated with the level of symptoms and pain. If you are having persistent problems consider a referral to a shoulder specialist to review a detailed plan for you specifically. Learn more about rotator cuff here:
http://theshouldercenter. Com/rotator-cuff-tear. Htm. ...Read more

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I've had cat scans, x rays, ultrasound of my bladder all negative why have a cystocopoy?

I've had cat scans, x rays, ultrasound of my bladder all negative why have a cystocopoy?

Studies are differen: What the images show is the anatomy. Sometimes what is in the bladder. But the mucosal lining is best seen visually. How red is the lining etc. So a cystoscope study is important to completely study the bladder ...Read more

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What can an ultrasound of a wrist tell you that a X-ray or MRI can't? Chronic wrist problem for almost 2 years

What can an ultrasound of a wrist tell you that a X-ray or MRI can't? Chronic wrist problem for almost 2 years

Not: Much. The x-ray shows mostly bone and calcification, u/s shapes and fluid, MRI a lot of detail. U/s cheaper. Nerve test shows conduction problems. ...Read more

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There's a lump in my left axilla (the size of a butter bean). Would an X-ray or ultrasound determine what this is?

There's a lump in my left axilla (the size of a butter bean). Would an X-ray or ultrasound determine what this is?

Ultrasound: Ultrasound is the best modality for initial assessment of soft tissue findings, especially if they are superficial.

To learn more about ultrasonography and its indications, you can read more at http://www. Conciergeradiologist. Com/ultrasound-scan. Html. ...Read more

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I am having low and high alkaline phosphatase result. Ultrasound and X-ray report shows a healthy liver. What could be the cause?

I am having low and high alkaline phosphatase result. Ultrasound and X-ray report shows a healthy liver. What could be the cause?

Many sources: Alkaline phosphate is high due to multiple reasons. They get high due to problem in liver, bone or intestine. It's unclear if your level gets to normal. It will be wise to discuss with pcp. ...Read more

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I have a painful lump on my left rib cage. I had two ultrasounds and three x-rays in the past two years and they found nothing. What is this?

I have a painful lump on my left rib cage. I had two ultrasounds and three x-rays in the past two years and they found nothing. What is this?

Could be....: This lump might need evaluated by more advanced imaging, such as an MRI or ct scan. There may be some soft tissue pathology or even a nondisplaced rib nonunion that is being missed by these imaging modalities. ...Read more

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Pain in lower back right and in legs worst in the morning did X-ray and ultrasound found nothing. Are these symptoms linked and what can it be?

Pain in lower back right and in legs worst in the morning did X-ray and ultrasound found nothing. Are these symptoms linked and what can it be?

Arthritis: Could be from many things. Degenerative disease or arthritis in the back is one of the more common reasons. You may benefit from an MRI of your lower back. Pending these results, additional tests or other reasons could be considered. You may want to consult with an orthopedist. ...Read more

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Very hard protrusion about 1cmx0.8cm (a bit deep below surface) within back of neck, off-center to the left. Feel it with slightly deep palpation, more so in certain neck orientations. Have negative x-ray, inconclusive ultrasound. Should be worried?

Very hard protrusion about 1cmx0.8cm (a bit deep below surface) within back of neck, off-center to the left. Feel it with slightly deep palpation, more so in certain neck orientations. Have negative x-ray, inconclusive ultrasound. Should be worried?

Do you have symptoms: Do u have symptoms? As numbness, weakness of arms or electrical like shooting sensation? Of YES... MRI better option than x ray. You need to talk to your MD. Otherwise it could be muscle spasm as a " lump" painful hard. Some medication can help and heat in area, physical therapy. If symptoms. Continue see MD. ...Read more

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Can a soft tissue ultrasound and x ray of the tibia show abnormalities like bone tumor or a cyst?

Can a soft tissue ultrasound and x ray of the tibia show abnormalities like bone tumor or a cyst?

Yes, to an extent,,,: Both of these exam techniques can be used to look for things like tumors and cysts. The X Ray is very often used for tumors of the bone and lung while the Ultrasound can be used for ovarian and liver lesions. ...Read more

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I whistle with exhalation. Had laryngoscopy, ultrasound, PFT, x rays. All normal. Doctors said I do it myself because of my OCD. How do I do it?

I whistle with exhalation. Had laryngoscopy, ultrasound, PFT, x rays. All normal. Doctors said I do it myself because of my OCD. How do I do it?

OCD can cause: Us to fixate on anything, even the sound of our breathing. Please see a mental health professional for treatment of your OCD. That way you will address the cause, not the symptom. Peace and good health. ...Read more

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Sharp right chest pain, which has moved to side rib over 2 days. Sharper with deeper breaths. Normal ultrasound and X-ray. Normal blood tests. Causes?

Chest pain: Many reasons from Shingles to pulmonary embolism to transient viral or local musculoskeletal issues. If persistent get a full evaluation and explanation ...Read more

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I have hurt my foot, X-ray and ultrasound have come back with nothing. What else could it be?

I have hurt my foot, X-ray and ultrasound have come back with nothing. What else could it be?

Likely sprain: A bone bruise, muscle or tendon tear or partial tear are all possibilities. Most common treatment is non weight bearing until symptoms subside, usually is 2-3 weeks. Ask the doctor that ordered the tests what should be next step. ...Read more

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3-1/2" oval lump lower left rib, soft, not moveable. Soft fat, sore if push on bottom rib. X-Ray had nothing. Ultrasound next. Ideas what is or best tests?

3-1/2" oval lump lower left rib, soft, not moveable. Soft fat, sore if push on bottom rib. X-Ray had nothing. Ultrasound next. Ideas what is or best tests?

Lipoma?: May be a soft, benign (not cancer) fatty tumor called a lipoma. If stable for many years these can usually be watched. If new, you should have it seen by an MD. The only way to be 100% sure is with a biopsy ...Read more

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Right upper quadrant pain first in front and then in back to side and down into groin. Blood, urine, ultrasound and X-ray normal. 2 mos in pain. Why?

Right upper quadrant pain first in front and then in back to side and down into groin. Blood, urine, ultrasound and X-ray normal. 2 mos in pain. Why?

Need work up.: Possibilities: gallbladder, pancreas, kidney stones to small to visualize by X-ray, or possibly bowel. Will need to see your Dr. Will probably get ultrasound and CT. May need MRI. ...Read more

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Had lump looked at on right upper chest seemed to have appeared all of a sudden, had a chest X-ray and ultrasound, and everything was normal, my question is what could be causing this lump then if ultrasound didn't see anything.

Had lump looked at on right upper chest seemed to have appeared all of a sudden, had a chest X-ray and ultrasound, and everything was normal, my question is what could be causing this lump then if ultrasound didn't see anything.

Good question: But I need "help" to try to answer it!

A PICTURE (in this case) would be "worth a thousand words"!

Ask again and attach a photo of the lump from various angles!

I'll be watching for it!
Dr Z ...Read more

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Lump on upper chest. X-ray normal. Going for ultrasound now. Any idea?

Lump on upper chest. X-ray normal. Going for ultrasound now. Any idea?

Likely not to worry: A skin lump is usually an oil gland called sebaceous cyst or a fatty growth called a lipoma. The ultrasound can reveal these non cancerous growths and determine if other more serious causes need to be explored further. ...Read more

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Normal cat scan, x-ray, and ultrasound - pain in right lower lung or upper abdoman still in pain, what's wrong? (right side)

Abdominal pain: It's encouraging that imaging studies are normal, but unfortunately without further story taking, it's impossible to suggest any meaningful diagnoses. ...Read more

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Normal ultrasound 8 mo. Ago, Dx celiac disease 5 mo. Ago, lab values normal, recent x-ray shows hepatomegaly. Is this possible, should I be checked?

Normal ultrasound 8 mo. Ago, Dx celiac disease 5 mo. Ago, lab values normal, recent x-ray shows hepatomegaly. Is this possible, should I be checked?

Yes: It appears that the hepatomegaly is a new development since 8 months ago. This requires an investigation. Contact your doctor or a GI specialist with special interest on the liver. ...Read more

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Tendons/muscle on lateral side of forearm near the elbow spasm, swell, hurt and is tender. X-ray and ultrasound show nothing is wrong. What may it be?

Tendons/muscle on lateral side of forearm near the elbow spasm, swell, hurt and is tender. X-ray and ultrasound show nothing is wrong. What may it be?

Tennis elbow?: Might be inflammation at the origin site of the extensor tendons on the lateral epicondyle of the elbow. Ultrasound and xray would be normal; an MRI would likely show some edema/swelling there in the form of increased t2 signal, but this expensive test may not be necessary. You may just need some rest, ice, and possibly anti-inflammatory meds like ibuprofen. See doctor though if it continues. ...Read more

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Are X-ray, CT, MRI or ultrasound used to examine Hodgkin's Lymphoma?

Are X-ray, CT, MRI or ultrasound used to examine Hodgkin's Lymphoma?

Yes: Mostly in staging. Some are better for different organs and sometimes are duplicated for clarification. ...Read more

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My ride side under ribs has pain that goes to the back. Went to the ER and blood tests, ultrasound, x-ray, and cat scans came back negative. Thoughts?

My ride side under ribs has pain that goes to the back. Went to the ER and blood tests, ultrasound, x-ray, and cat scans came back negative. Thoughts?

Could be gallbladder: Your gallbladder lives just under your right ribcage; pain often radiates to the right shoulder, right armpit - but I've seen it radiate to the back, too. While gallbladder stones will show up on an ultrasound, sludge may not. The test that looks at the efficiency of the gallbladder's emptying is a hida scan - and it isn't typically done within the scope of an er visit. Talk to your doctor. ...Read more

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Behind knee (burning)and calf (dull/sharp) pain that's been getting worse over the last 3weeks. X-ray normal ultrasound knee to groin normal. No injur?

Behind knee (burning)and calf (dull/sharp) pain that's been getting worse over the last 3weeks. X-ray normal ultrasound knee to groin normal. No injur?

Knee: I think you should see your physician and ask an ultrasound. There csn still be other soft tissue pathology that does not show up on x ray like a Bakers cyst. Sounds like there is something pinching some nerves back there. ...Read more

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Severe ankle pain with ankles turning purple! ER ruled out blood clot with ultrasound and x-ray.

May Be the Arteries: There are many causes of discoloration of the ankles and feet. Ruling out a blood clot is good but those usually occur in the veins. Having pain and discoloration in the feet and ankles is often due to a decrease in the blood flow. I recommend seeing a vascular specialist in your area for blood flow testing. ...Read more

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Scared I've colorectal cancer. Had recent abd x-ray, abd CT w/ contrast, and ab ultrasound. Do these rule out the possibility of late stage cancer?

Scared I've colorectal cancer. Had recent abd x-ray, abd CT w/ contrast, and ab ultrasound. Do these rule out the possibility of late stage cancer?

Yes: However, they do not rule out the possibility of early colon cancer. Colonoscopy is the standard test done for early detection of colon cancer and is recommended for patients with family history of colon cancer even at younger ages (less than 50). Is there any reason you are specifically scared of having colorectal cancer? Talk to your doc about your fears as well as symptoms. ...Read more

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Bi rads 0 mamm. Going for fu tomorrow. Is a x-Ray digital mamm better or ultrasound better for dense breasts? No family history of breast ca.

Bi rads 0 mamm. Going for fu tomorrow. Is a x-Ray digital mamm better or ultrasound better for dense breasts? No family history of breast ca.

Mammography is: Still the standard of care for screening, even in dense breasts. However, it is true that the sensitivity of mammography for detecting cancer is decreased in dense breasts, and there is some evidence that adjunct sonography may be useful in this setting. The role of sonography is evolving. ...Read more

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