Diagnostic Testing



Imaging (Radiology) Procedures

What is the test?

Ultrasound is painless. It is used to examine internal organs and to help diagnose various diseases of the heart and the circulatory system. Ultrasound tests or sonograms use sound waves to examine parts of the body. The images are created by sending and receiving high frequency sound waves into the body using a special transducer. The images are constantly updated and, therefore, can be used in evaluating moving structures. Sonograms are often used in pregnancy, and to evaluate the gallbladder, kidneys, blood vessels, as well as many other parts of the body. There is no radiation involved with ultrasound, and there are no risks known to be associated with its use.

How do I prepare?

Please plan to arrive in Imaging Services 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. Preparation for an ultrasound test varies, depending on the area being evaluated. If you wear loose clothing to the exam, you may not need to change into a gown.

  Abdomen, gallbladder, liver, aorta, pancreas, kidneys, spleen ultrasounds

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Pills typically can be taken with small sips of water. If you are diabetic, consult with your doctor about your medication prior to the test.


  Bladder, pelvic, and pregnancy ultrasounds

A full bladder is needed to view the pelvic structures, so stay well-hydrated all day by drinking plenty of fluids. Then one hour prior to the test, finish drinking 32 ounces of fluid. Do not urinate prior to the test.


  Thyroid, testicular,, breast, and soft tissue ultrasound

No special preparation.


  Transvaginal ultrasound

No special preparation. If you have a latex allergy, please alert your technician.


What can I expect during the procedure?

An ultrasound exam takes between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the size and health of the patient. The test is performed by a specially trained technologist. The technologist  begins by applying gel to the skin over the organ to be examined; this facilitates the transmission of the sound waves. A transducer (sound wave transmitter and receiver) is moved back and forth over the area being studied, and internal images are recorded in the computer and displayed on the video monitor in real time. Images are recorded on film.

After the test?

There are no after-effects from ultrasound.

How and when will I get my test results?

Typically, within 48 hours a written report of your test results will be sent to your referring physician, who will review them with you. Additional time (3 to 5 days) may be required if we are comparing these test results to previous findings from another hospital or health-care provider.

Where is this test performed?

Ultrasound is available at all three Imaging Services centers: Cayuga Medical Center at 101 Dates Drive, off NYS Route 96 in Ithaca; Convenient Care Center in Ithaca, Warren Road at Arrowwood Drive; and Convenient Care and Commons Imaging Center in Cortland, Route 281 at Commons Avenue.

About our Imaging Services

Cayuga Medical Center has a commitment to and reputation for staying abreast of changing technology and our imaging equipment is state-of-the-art. Our range of services is comprehensive and we offer all imaging modalities found in major medical centers. Radiologists are on site at all three of our locations, which also distinguishes the level of service we provide.

Imaging Services is staffed by six-board certified radiologists, many of whom are subspecialists in areas such as neuroradiology, abdominal CT, and interventional procedures. Assisting them are experienced radiologic technologists, many of whom have completed advanced training and are certified in specialty modalities.

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