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Using sound waves to see organs and internal structures

Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to look at the organs and structures inside the body. During pregnancy, ultrasound is used to view the fetus. During an ultrasound, the patient lies on a table and the technician or doctor uses a device called a transducer. The transducer moves across the outside of the body, sending sound waves that bounce off the tissues inside the body. A computer captures the sound waves and creates an image that the doctor can view.

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