Understanding the Role of Ultrasound in Gynaecological Care: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Understanding the Role of Ultrasound in Gynaecological Care: What Is It, and Why Is It Important?

It was 1961 when a team of Australian clinicians designed and constructed broadband transducers for use in medicine. That was the beginning of ultrasound’s technological progression in Australia. Since then, ultrasound has been used in medical settings, notably in gynaecology, for decades. The revolutionary technology has been used to detect a wide variety of gynaecological conditions and to monitor pregnancies. This technology continues to save and improve the lives of women worldwide. Let’s delve into the role of ultrasound in gynaecological care. What is it, and why is it important?

The Use of Ultrasound for Diagnosis and Detection in Gynaecology

Ultrasound technology uses soundwaves, similar to how dolphins and bats use echolocation. The soundwaves bounce off the bones and tissue of the patient to form an image on the screen which gives doctors a view of the organs. The process involves dragging a sound-emitting transducer along the patient’s abdomen while the ultrasound machine’s screen shows images of the internal organs. This fast, safe, and non-invasive imaging technique has become a critical tool for both general medicine and gynaecology. Transvaginal ultrasound enables doctors to detect and diagnose various gynaecological conditions such as endometrial polyps, cervical polyps, fibroids, ovarian cysts, pelvic infection, ovarian torsion, adenomyosis and endometriosis as well as assess the early pregnancy.

The Use of Ultrasound During Early Pregnancy

Ultrasound is a pivotal imaging tool for expectant mothers. Due to its safety and accuracy, it allows doctors to examine a woman’s womb during early pregnancy. It is possible using high resolution transvaginal ultrasound to determine the pregnancy viability, gestational age, the number of fetuses and the pregnancy location (ectopic pregnancy).

How Ultrasound Technology Has Progressed

In 1959, the Ultrasound Research Section within the Commonwealth Acoustic Laboratories was established. This was the beginning of Australian ultrasound. Within only a few years, it became known as one of the leading ultrasound research groups in the world. By 1970, greyscale ultrasound was introduced, giving doctors a dramatically improved view of the fetus. Transvaginal ultrasound was first introduced in the late 80s early 90s. Today, the use transvaginal ultrasound is a game changer in the diagnosis, management and planning treatment in all gynaecological presentations.

Ultrasound is now among the safest and most accurate ways to detect gynaecological and reproductive health issues and monitor pregnancies from the first trimester and beyond. It is nothing short of indispensable for gynaecologists – and that is why it is so important. If you suspect you may need a gynaecological ultrasound, don’t hesitate to book your appointment.

References:

  1. https://www.asum.com.au/about-the-australasian-society-for-ultrasound-in-medicine/history-of-asum/history-of-ultrasound-in-australia/
OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care

Condous performs Advanced Endosurgery procedures for women needing intervention for pelvic masses, adnexal pathology, severe endometriosis or hysterectomy. He also runs ‘Hands on’ Live Sheep Laparoscopic Workshops for gynaecologists at Camden Veterinarian School.
Having completed an undergraduate degree with the University of Adelaide, he left Australia in 1993 and moved to London where he completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From 2001 to 2003 Condous worked as a Senior Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital, London. At St George’s he set up the Acute Gynaecology Unit, the first in the United Kingdom. It was also during this time that he developed an interest in Early Pregnancy and especially the management of pregnancies of unknown location (PULs). Condous has developed many mathematical models for the prediction of outcome of PULs which have been featured in numerous peer review journals. In 2005, he returned to Australia where he completed his Laparoscopic Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endosurgery, Royal North Shore, Sydney.

Condous was appointed as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Nepean Hospital in 2006 and soon was made Associate Professor. In 2010, he was made Departmental Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nepean Hospital. He obtained the MRCOG in 1999 and was made FRANZCOG in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD), University of London, for his thesis entitled: “The management of pregnancies of unknown location and the development of new mathematical models to predict outcome”.

Condous has edited three books including the “Handbook of Early Pregnancy Care”, published over 100 papers in international journals and is internationally renowned for his work in Early Pregnancy. He is the Associate Editor for Gynaecologic Obstetric Investigation, which is a European based journal, as well as the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (AJUM). He is on the organising committee and is an invited speaker at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) Scientific meeting in Sydney 2013. His current research interests relate to the management of ectopic pregnancy, 1st trimester growth, PULs and miscarriage and the use of transvaginal ultrasound (in particular sonovaginography, to predict posterior compartment deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis).Condous is also actively involved with post-graduate education including the annual running of the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecological Ultrasound Interactive Courses for Sonologists, Radiologists, Sonographers and Gynaecologists in Australia.