Three Reasons Why A Doctor Might Order A Sonogram Of Your Torso


If you walk into a urgent care clinic with abdominal or chest pain complaints, your doctor will first perform an exam to see if there is a medical emergency. After the initial exam, the doctor may request other types of tests, including a sonogram. While most people may think of a sonogram as a tool to see a baby in utero, the sonogram can also detect other abnormalities in the body. Here are three reasons why a doctor might order a sonogram of your torso when you come into the clinic complaining of discomfort or pain.

The Doctor Suspects Cardiac or Pericardial Abnormalities

Some people can go their entire lives without knowing they have a cardiac or percardial abnormality. When you finally begin to experience chest pain or trouble breathing and go to see a doctor, he or she may order a sonogram of your heart and lungs (your upper torso). The sonogram can help pinpoint congenital (birth) defects of the heart or pericardial sac (the sac around the heart) by producing images of what is present and should not be or what is not present and should be. For example, a missing heart valve that causes arrhythmias and chest pain can be detected by a sonogram. 

The Doctor Suspects Hernias of the Stomach or Upper GI Tract

Painful cramping in your midsection could mean that you have a hiatal hernia, a condition that is caused by part of your stomach being forced up through the diaphragm, the band of muscle that controls your breathing. If it hurts every time you take a breath and release it or you have constant acid reflux, you may have a hiatal hernia. Your doctor can order a sonogram of your torso in order to see and diagnose this condition. If you have a twisted bowel or hernia of the upper GI (gastrointestinal) tract, you will probably feel lots of cramping and pain after meals. A sonogram can detect this problem too.

The Doctor Suspects a Thickening or Growth of the Lower Intestines

Hard lumps that can be palpated in your lower abdomen could indicate blockages of the intestines or colon. It could also indicate benign masses or tumors.  Before a doctor is willing to refer you to a surgeon or schedule you for surgery, he or she will want a sonogram to detect the masses and the size of each mass that can be felt. There may be more that the doctor cannot feel, in which case he or she could use the sonogram of your whole torso to see if there are any other areas that might be of some concern.


29 April 2016

Making Health Care A Priority

When it comes to taking care of yourself, some people only think about what they should avoid. However, making health care a priority is as much about preventing as it is about treating existing conditions. When I learned that I had skin cancer a few years ago, all I could think about was all of the sunblock I never put on. I want you to understand how to prevent problems, so that you can live a better life. Check out these articles to understand how to make health care a priority, and when you should visit with your doctor. It might seem like a small decision, but doing a little reading might make all the difference later.