An ultrasound exam is a diagnostic imaging study that uses high-frequency sound waves to provide images of internal areas of your body. It is particularly useful in producing images of "soft" tissue areas, like the heart and abdominal organs, because it can differentiate between different forms of tissue. Ultrasound can also show real-time internal motion, like the heart beating and the flowing of blood through the veins. A common use of ultrasound is with pregnant women to assess how their babies are developing.

No radiation is used during an ultrasound, so this procedure is very safe, even for pregnant women. In an ultrasound exam, sound waves, far above the range of human hearing, penetrate your body. When internal organs reflect back the sound waves, a computer records and interprets the resulting echoes and generates an image of the area of your body being examined.

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