What is Sonography?

Sonography is a non-invasive medical imaging procedure used to diagnose, treat and prevent medical conditions relating to organs or systems in the body. An ultrasound can be performed at Cooley Dickinson Hospital or Amherst Community Health Center.

During an examination, a sonographer or physician uses a transmitting device called a transducer to send out high-frequency ultrasound waves. These harmless sound waves, which contain no radiation, bounce off the surfaces of the object they hit. The reflected sound forms an echo, and that echo is turned into a visual representation on a screen.

Your Ultrasound Appointment

Why do I need a sonogram?

You may need a sonogram for a variety of different reasons. Your physician may order one to determine the best way to treat you; monitor fetal growth; monitor the health of your heart, abdomen, vascular or musculoskeletal systems; or uncover cancer.

Who will perform the sonogram?

The sonogram will typically be performed by a sonographer or physician. To ensure you are receiving the highest level of care, ask if the person performing your sonogram has been certified by American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

What happens during a sonogram?

An odorless, colorless gel is applied to your skin around the area of your body that will be examined. The sonographer will then place a small handheld device called a transducer on your skin. The transducer emits high-frequency pulses of ultrasonic waves that travel into your body and bounce off whatever they reach.

As your body reflects the sound waves back, images appear on the screen. This is where the gel comes in handy, as it helps eliminate air pockets between your body and the transducer, thus providing clearer images.

As the transducer is moved around, images of various organs appear on a monitor. The sonographer optimizes the images and electronically stores the ones most useful for diagnostic purposes. Selected images are then shared with an interpreting physician for a final diagnosis.

Your Ultrasound Scan: What You Should Expect

  • Arrive at the center 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time, or 30 minutes prior for patients having a biopsy.
  • Our technologist will explain the procedure and discuss how you should receive the results.
  • Your scan will be completed in less than one hour. After the completion of the Ultrasound exam you can resume your normal activities. If you are having a biopsy we will let you know your restrictions.

The Results of Your Ultrasound

Cooley Dickinson radiologists will review and interpret your images. A written report will be sent to your doctor within 48 hours following your scan. If you have questions about the results of your Ultrasound, please contact your doctor.

At every step of the procedure, Cooley Dickinson’s competent, friendly staff will make sure your visit is as comfortable as possible and that your appointment goes smoothly. Our radiologists are board-certified by the American Board of Radiology, and our ultrasound technologists and services are fully accredited and certified by national organizations that examine the quality of radiology services. Our medical professionals bring expertise and many years of experience to the specialized field of diagnostic imaging and our state-of-the-art technology provides exams of superior quality.

We want your ultrasound experience to be as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions prior to your procedure, please contact us. To schedule an ultrasound appointment, call 413-582-2101.

For appointments, call 413-582-2101.


Northampton Ultrasound
Appointment Times:

Monday through Friday
7:30 AM– 7 PM (last scheduled appointment time is 6:15 PM)


Amherst Ultrasound
Appointment Times:

Monday through Friday
7:30 AM– 6PM (last scheduled appointment time is 5 PM)