This diagnostic tool uses the refraction of high-frequency sound waves to produce an image of internal structures. It works well on soft tissues and is therefore a good tool to use when inspecting areas of pain and swelling. It also works well when examining most internal organs.

Ultrasound has many benefits as a diagnostic tool:

  • It is non-invasive

  • It is safer than other imaging processes

  • It produces real-time images (movement of tissues can be seen)

  • It can be used to guide procedures such as needle biopsies and fluid aspiration


While ultrasound does have many benefits, it isn’t always the best diagnostic tool for the job. The sound waves can be blocked or distorted by some materials in the body. Trained technicians can work around some of these problems, but other times x-rays are the best choice.