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Ultrasound imaging (sonography) is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that can define small structural defects and abnormalities with a high level of precision in most parts of the body. It uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of soft-tissue organs or vessels inside the body. Color Doppler is employed to assess the blood flow in veins and arteries. All of this is accomplished without the use of radiation or contrast injections.

Ultrasound is performed to detect conditions such as gallstones, kidney obstruction, enlarged liver or spleen, thyroid nodules, breast cysts, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, plaque in arteries, and blood clots in veins. Most patients are familiar with the common use of ultrasound during pregnancy to evaluate the development of the fetus. Ultrasound can monitor the growth of a baby and can sometimes detect the gender of your unborn child.

At Chester County Hospital, our imaging services utilize advanced ultrasound technology and state-of-the-art machines to reveal medical information that in the past may have required surgery. Our Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are specially trained and strive to meet and exceed the needs of our patients and physicians by providing excellent service.

Exam Preparation for Patients Over 16 Years of Age

Do not eat or drink after midnight if exam is scheduled for early AM; if scheduled at another time, do not eat or drink for at least 6 hrs prior to exam.

Pancreas, Spleen, Gall Bladder, Aorta, Liver
Do not eat, drink or smoke after midnight before exam.

Bladder, Uterus, Ovaries, Pelvis and Pregnancy (less than 15 weeks)
Approximately 1.5 hours before test, empty your bladder, then drink 32ozs. of water within 30 minutes.

Pregnancy (15 weeks or more)
Drink 16ozs. of water 1 hour prior to the study.
DO NOT EMPTY BLADDER before the exam.

If you have had a previous breast ultrasound or mammogram at another location, please bring previous films with you.

Thyroid, Retroperitoneum, Scrotum
No special preparation needed.

During the Ultrasound

During ultrasound imaging, a diagnostic medical sonographer will gently pass a hand held transducer (probe) across an area of your body until a good image can be found. The transducer transmits sound waves that bounce off the organs or vessels in your body and return back to the transducer to reflect an image. The sonographer uses a computer to put together an image that the radiologist interprets for your diagnosis.


The American College of Radiology accredits the Hospital's Radiology Department for the high quality of its imaging.

This service is provided at the following location:
Chester County Hospital
Penn Medicine Exton
Fern Hill Medical Campus
Kennett Medical Campus

Last Updated: 12/3/2014