Soft Tissue Ultrasound in Ottawa

Our expert radiology team in Ottawa uses soft tissue ultrasounds to help evaluate the cause of fluid collection, trauma, or tears in the soft tissue.

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General Ultrasounds, Ottawa

What is a Soft Tissue Ultrasound?

A soft tissue ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure used to look at and assess the soft tissues around joints, tendons, and muscles. It employs a transducer that emits ultrasound waves at an inaudible frequency. These are converted into images of the tissues.

Soft tissue ultrasounds can help evaluate for fluid collections, trauma, tumour and tears in the soft tissue. They can also be done to evaluate for baker cysts, lumps felt in the skin or lumps felt after trauma or surgery.

A Doppler ultrasound may also be part of your soft tissue ultrasound, which is a special technique used to check soft tissues for inflammation.

The Soft Tissue Ultrasound Procedure

The patient is either seated in a chair or lying on a bed. A clear gel is applied to the area being examined. It may be necessary to wear a gown or take a particular position to assess the area of concern.

The sonographer uses the transducer to assess and capture images of the region of interest.

Following a soft tissue ultrasound, no special care is required. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you can resume your regular diet and activities.

  • I enjoy meeting my patients and getting to know their stories. No matter why you need an ultrasound, I and the rest of my team are here to thoroughly assess your examination. Our advanced equipment and qualified expertise mean you get clear, efficient results.
    - Dr. Geoff Doherty

Patient Preparation

Here is what you can expect during each phase of the soft tissue ultrasound process, along with details on what to bring with you to your appointment at our clinic in Orléans, Ottawa.

  • Before The Test

    Please wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to your appointment and preferably no jewelry as you may need to remove jewelry and clothing in the area to be examined.

    You may also be asked to wear a gown for the procedure.

    You will be given specific information on how to prepare when the exam is scheduled.

  • During The Test

    A trained professional (a sonographer or radiologist) applies a special gel to the area of concern. The gel works with the transducer to improve image quality.

    The transducer is gently pressed against the area and moved back and forth. The device transmits data to a computer. The computer generates images that depict the soft tissue structures.

    A soft tissue ultrasound exam usually lasts about 30 minutes.

  • After The Test

    The gel will be removed from your skin after the exam, but any gel that remains will dry quickly and will not discolour or stain clothing. After a soft tissue ultrasound, you should be able to resume your normal activities.

  • Results

    A radiologist will evaluate and interpret the images. The radiologist will sign the report and send it to the doctor who requested the exam. The results will then be discussed with you by your doctor. The radiologist may discuss the results with you after the exam in some cases.

    A follow-up exam may be required to further evaluate a potential problem with additional views or a specialized imaging technique. It may also check to see if a problem has changed over time. Follow-up exams are frequently the best way to determine whether treatment is effective or whether a problem needs to be addressed.

Soft Tissue Ultrasound FAQs

Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about soft tissue ultrasounds at Premier Imaging.

  • Why would I need a soft tissue ultrasound?

    A soft tissue ultrasound might be requested for a variety of reasons. If you suffer an injury, a soft tissue ultrasound might be needed to assess the extent of the damage to your muscles and/or tendons, for example.

    A soft tissue ultrasound might be needed to evaluate a baker cyst (fluid collections behind or around the knee) or to evaluate the contents of a superficial lump found somewhere on your body.

    • What are the benefits of a soft tissue ultrasound?

      The benefits of an abdominal ultrasound include:

      • Soft tissue ultrasound scanning is noninvasive (no needles or injections).
      • Soft tissue ultrasound is widely available, easy to use, and less expensive than most other imaging methods.
      • Soft tissue ultrasound imaging is extremely safe and does not use radiation.
      • Soft tissue ultrasound provides real-time imaging. This makes it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures such as needle biopsies and fluid aspiration.
      • Compared to MRI, soft tissue ultrasound may provide greater internal detail when assessing soft tissue structures such as tendons and nerves.
      • Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the movement of a soft tissue structure such as a tendon, joint or extremity.
    • What are some signs that I should see a specialist?

      A superficial lump on your body is usually a good indicator that you should book an appointment with your doctor. Depending on his analysis, he may request you get a soft tissue ultrasound.

      Injuries, such as to the knee or neck, may also require a soft tissue ultrasound. This can include pain or stiffness being felt in these areas.

    • After a soft tissue ultrasound, what's next?

      If your doctor or other members of your healthcare team use a soft tissue ultrasound to diagnose your problem, they may prescribe medication or other treatments based on the condition causing your symptoms.

    • What are the limitations of a soft tissue ultrasound?

      Sound waves don't travel well through air or bone, so soft tissue ultrasound isn't effective at imaging body parts that are hidden by bone. Further, a soft tissue ultrasound may not be able to see what's happening very deep in the body.

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