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What is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound exam or sonogram is a procedure that utilizes high frequency sound waves to produce images of the internal body structures. The sound waves penetrate the body painlessly and then reflect back to the machine and an image is created. There is no radiation involved in an ultrasound exam. Oaklawn utilizes the latest Philips Epiq Elite ultrasound machine.

Who performs the ultrasound?

An ultrasound is performed by a diagnostic medical sonographer, sometimes called an Ultrasound tech.  These medical professionals have special training in the use of ultrasound machines and a detailed knowledge of anatomy and pathology. They are also required to pass several board examinations and maintain continuous education through the ARDMS (their accrediting body).

Who reads the ultrasound exams?

A medical doctor called a Radiologist reads all ultrasound exams. They are considered specialists, who specialize in evaluating all types of medical imaging. Oaklawn partners with Radiology Consultants out of Battle Creek to read all of our images.

What can you expect during an Ultrasound?

On the day of your examination please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time to allow time for registration.  Be sure to bring your photo ID and insurance cards with you.

Upon your arrival to the main hospital entrance you will approach the Central Registration kiosk, enter your information and take the printed ticket. Registration will call your ticket number to a specific registration booth at which time you will proceed through the registration process. Once registration is complete you will take a seat in the main waiting area and the Ultrasound staff will call your ticket to Radiology when they are ready for you.

The Sonographer (Ultrasound Tech) will bring you back to the examination room, verify your name and date of birth. They will then ask specific questions for the Radiologist, which will help them in reading their images. Once history questions are taken the Sonographer will position you on the examination table which is usually flat on your back or on your side. The sonographer will then drape the region to be imaged with towels, once the towels are in place they will apply clear gel to your skin. The gel allows for smooth movement of the transducer and helps conduct the soundwaves into the body. The sonographer will move the transducer and apply pressure in order to obtain all of the necessary images for the Radiologist. Upon completion of the examination the gel will be removed by the patient or the sonographer if necessary.

After the exam is complete any special instructions that are indicated will be conveyed to the patient, and the patient will be sent home.

When will you get results?

Your exam will be read by a board-certified radiologist (our Sonographers are not qualified to interpret or give results). The report will be available to your physician within 2-3 business days.  Additional time may be needed for your physician to review and correlate this with any other exams or labs that you may have had performed.  If you have not heard from your physicians office within 1 week, you may want to reach out to their office.

You may also obtain your result via Oaklawn’s Cerner patient portal.

You may obtain them directly from our Health Information Management department.

How do I schedule an ultrasound?

Your primary care provider’s office can schedule for you.

You can call Scheduling directly at 269-789-3915, option 2, and make an appointment yourself. However, for this option you will need to have a copy of your provider’s order with you or your provider’s office will need to fax the order to scheduling at 269-789-3971.

Where can I have an Ultrasound examination?

Oaklawn’s Main Campus

200 North Madison Street

Marshall, MI, 49068

Oaklawn’s Women’s Diagnostics Center

103 East Mansion Street

Marshall, MI, 49068

Oaklawn Medical Group’s Coldwater Location (Wednesdays Only)

375 North Willowbrook Road

Coldwater, MI, 49036

Common Exams and Preparations

Abdominal Exams 

Abdomen Complete:  Includes Aorta, IVC, Pancreas, Liver, Gallbladder, Bile ducts, Kidneys, and spleen

  • Nothing to eat 8-10 hours prior to exam (nothing after midnight)

Gallbladder/RUQ/Liver: Includes Pancreas, Liver, Gallbladder and bile ducts

  • Nothing to eat 10 hours prior to exam (nothing after midnight)

Renal/kidneys: Includes kidneys and bladder

  • Nothing to eat 8 hours prior to exam then 1 hour prior drink 32oz of water and hold bladder until instructed to empty (water should be completed 1 hour before appointment)

Spleen:  Includes Spleen

  • Nothing to eat 6-8 hours (nothing after midnight)

Pancreas:  Includes Pancreas, Liver, Gallbladder and bile ducts

  • Nothing to eat 8-10 hours prior to exam (nothing after midnight)

OB/GYN Exams

Pelvic:  includes Uterus, adnexa regions, and ovaries

  • Must have a full bladder for this examination Drink 32 ounces of any clear liquid 1 hour before your appointment and hold until instructed to empty.

Obstetrical:  Includes evaluation of fetus, uterus, placenta and other applicable items depending on gestational age.

  • Must have a full bladder for this examination.Drink 32oz of any clear liquid 1 hour before your appointment time and hold until instructed to empty.

Small Parts/Soft Tissue Exams

Breast ultrasound:  No prep needed

Thyroid:   No prep needed

Soft tissue arm/leg:  No prep needed

Hernia evaluation:  No prep needed

Vascular Exams

Venous doppler:  No prep needed

Venous Insufficiency:  Drink 32 oz prior to appointment, wear warm clothes

Carotid doppler:  No prep needed

Arterial doppler:  No prep needed

Arterial treadmill stress:  Wear comfortable clothes and good walking shoes

Invasive Procedures

Preparations vary depending on the type of procedure being done.  Please discuss any questions with your physician. Some procedures require additional time for lab values and recovery.

Please reach out to the radiology nurse with any additional questions by calling 269-789-3917 and asking for the radiology nurse.