During the test, your child will lie down on a bed in a dim room. A registered sonographer will place an instrument called a transducer onto your child's body over the areas that need to be looked at. The transducer transmits sound waves into the patient, the waves bounce off internal organs and back to the transducer, creating a picture on a computer monitor. 

Ultrasound imaging can show pictures of soft-tissue organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, and others. It is a particularly great imaging technique for children, as it involves no radiation and requires no sedation or anesthesia. It is completely painless.

Preparing Your Child

Infants: You cannot explain the exam to your baby. You can help your baby feel more secure during the test by bringing a special blanket, toy or pacifier. Please bring along a bottle of juice or formula to feed your baby when the test is done.

Toddlers and preschool-age children: Young children remember things for only a short time, so the best time to talk about the test is right before you are ready to come to the hospital. Tell your child that you are going to the hospital to have some "pictures" taken that the doctor needs to help him/her get better. Try to use simple words. It is important to be honest with your child. Tell him/her nothing will hurt. Because children at this age are afraid of being separated from their parent, let him/her know that mom or dad will stay with him/her as much as possible. When you come to the hospital, bring a favorite book, toy, or blanket. You may also bring along a snack for after the test.

School-age children: School-age children have good imaginations. If you don't tell them the truth, they may imagine something much worse than the actual test. The day of the test, tell your child that he/she will be going to the hospital to have some pictures taken of the inside of his/her body. Tell him/her the pictures will help the doctor decide how to make him/her better. Use simple words. Be honest. Try to tell your child exactly what will happen. Tell him/her it is a painless test. Nothing will hurt. When you come to the hospital, bring along a favorite book, toy, or game. If you wish, you may also bring along a snack for after the test.

Please call your child's doctor or the Radiology Department (757) 668-7250 if you have any questions or concerns.