What Is An Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is an examination technique using high frequency sound waves to make still and live video pictures. Ultrasound is used to assess the condition of soft-tissue structures within the body.  Exam sites can include the heart and breast, as well as digestive, reproductive and urinary tracts.

It is important to know that your exam will be performed by technologists who have received national certification by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

It is equally important to utilize ultrasound departments accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Further Information


You must inform the technologist if you are, or think you might be, pregnant.


Why Should I Have an Ultrasound?

Some common ultrasound examinations can identify conditions like those listed below.

In addition, your healthcare provider may want to diagnose or rule out other conditions not listed.

Ultrasounds are quick, painless and produce no known side effects.




  • Appendicitis
  • Evaluation of Pain
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Evaluation of Abdominal Aorta
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver or Spleen Disorders
  • Pancreas or Bile Duct Abnormalities
  • Tumors


  • Adjunct to Mammography
  • Cyst vs. Solid Mass
  • Dense Breasts
  • Evaluation of Breast Implants


  • Cysts
  • Inflammation
  • Obstruction
  • Stones
  • Tumors

OBSTETRICAL - First Trimester Only

  • Abnormalities of the Uterus, Placenta, Ovaries
  • Bleeding During Pregnancy
  • Fetal Abnormalities
  • Fetal Growth


  • Abnormal Emptying
  • Stones
  • Tumors


  • Aneurysms (balloon-like enlargement)
  • Rupture of Abdominal Aorta


  • Fluid in the Scrotum
  • Infection
  • Torsion or Twisting of the Testicle
  • Tumor


  • Cysts
  • Inflammation
  • Tumors


  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Vascular Disease


  • Headache
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke

What to Expect

Exam Preparation

Unless instructed otherwise, most ultrasounds do not require special preparation.

However, if the ultrasound test is ordered to examine your abdomen and pelvic region, you may be asked to fast prior to the exam, and/or arrive at your appointment with a full bladder.

In the case of a gallbladder exam, recent food ingestion may interfere with scanning.

In the case of pelvic ultrasounds, a full bladder maximizes the reflection of sound waves and improves the image.

During the Exam

Our Certified Sonographer technologist will ask you to lie on the examination table next to the ultrasound equipment and may ask you to wear a gown during your exam.

The radiologist or technologist may apply a clear water-soluble gel to the part of the body to be examined.

The gel helps the sound waves travel from the ultrasound machine through the skin, down to the tissues that are the target of the study. After applying the gel, the technologist will guide the transducer – a hand-held instrument – slowly across your skin. The images will appear on the ultrasound monitor.

After the Exam

Upon completion, the technologist may ask you to remain in the department while reviewing the ultrasound pictures.

The radiologist may also order additional images or a brief exam.

A Board Certified Radiologist will interpret your results and provide a formal report to your healthcare provider.

Feel free to contact our facility or check with your healthcare provider for additional information.



Ultrasound Exams are available at these locations:

PENRAD @ Audubon Medical Campus
3050 N. Circle Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

PENRAD @ Broadmoor Area Centura Neighborhood Health Center
1263 Lake Plaza Drive, #100
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

PENRAD @ Sisters Grove Pavilion
6011 Woodmen Road, #10
Colorado Springs, CO 80923

PENRAD @ Tri-Lakes Health Pavilion
17230 Jackson Creek Parkway, #160
Monument, CO 80132

To request an appointment, click here or call (719) 785-9000 option 1



Oncology, Neurology, Cardiology

Nuclear Medicine

Bone Scans, MUGA


Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring. No referral required.


Ultrasounds or Sonograms using high frequency sound waves.


IVP, Barium Enema


Chest X-Ray - Dual Energy Subtraction


Full-field digital acquisition

CT Scan

CT 64 slice, Automatic Radiation Dose Reduction

Bone Density

DEXA, Hip & Femur BMD. Referrals may be required by some insurances.


High Field – Short Bore Magnets, Breast MRI with CAD, Cardiac MRI