What is a 3D (3-dimensional) ultrasound?
3D ultrasound has been used for the last few years, especially in pregnancy. Our 3D Ultrasound uses new ultrasound technology that can now for the first time be used to evaluate the pelvic floor muscles. Our 3D ultrasound can show volumes and detail of pelvic structures that cannot be seen on a 2D ultrasound machine or on a 3D ultrasound machine used for pregnancy. We are one of a handful of practices selected in the U.S. to utilize this state-of-the-art technology.
Why is a 3D ultrasound used?
Our 3D ultrasound evaluates the pelvic floor muscles trans-vaginally and trans-anally. Pelvic floor muscles are seen clearly, as well as muscle contractions and Valsalva maneuvers. The ultrasound is especially valuable in pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and fecal incontinence, and defecation disorders, to identify fascial and muscular defects. Clinical examination skills alone are inadequate to identify structural abnormalities because it only focuses on surface anatomy. The final ultrasound images allow the physician a “rendered 3D image,” that can be used in a number of treatment strategies. This is helpful if reconstructive surgery is planned. The 3D ultrasound can also be used to identify reasons for failed repairs or problem solve continued symptoms.
How is the 3D ultrasound procedure done?
The ultrasound will take about 45 minutes. The patient will empty her bladder. The most common ultrasound position is the patient on her back. A transducer will be placed on the perineum for a trans labial ultrasound. Then a transvaginal and anal ultrasound are performed.