What is the Scrotum Ultrasound Test? Know Everything About this Test
The scrotum ultrasound test is an imaging test that is done to view the anatomy of the scrotum. Ultrasound imaging is a diagnostic medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves and their echoes to create real-time two-dimensional images of organs, tissues, and vessels inside the human body. The test helps in evaluating the testes, epididymis, and spermatic cord structures. Ultrasound imaging is used to view internal organs as they function and to assess blood vessels, tumours, and other structural abnormalities.
The scrotum ultrasound test is usually done to help diagnose a wide range of diseases because it can reveal a lot of information about the health of the scrotal contents. It can help diagnose testicular cancer, orchitis, varicocele, and several other conditions.
Is taking a Scrotum Ultrasound test safe?
The scrotum ultrasound is a painless procedure that usually takes only a few minutes to complete. The patient is positioned so that the scrotum is facing the ultrasound machine. The technician will then transmit high-frequency sound waves into the scrotum and collect echoes from the tissues in the area. The echoes are converted into images that are displayed on a computer screen.
The scrotum ultrasound test is a safe and non-invasive procedure, and it does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation. However, precautions must be considered before getting this test done to make the results accurate.
Precautions of Scrotum Ultrasound test:
The patient must inform the doctor if he/she has:
– A metallic implant like stents, aneurysm clips, implanted electrodes, or cardiac pacemakers in the scrotal area. These devices can result in problems when being scanned by an ultrasound machine.
– Any bleeding disorders
– A history of blood clots
– A hernia in the scrotal area
– Pain, swelling, or redness in the scrotum- Recent surgery or trauma in the scrotal area
– A history of pelvic infection
– Problems passing urine
– Diabetes mellitus
The patient should also avoid caffeine and eat a heavy meal before the test.
The patient may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for a few hours before the test.
How is a Scrotum Ultrasound Test Performed?
The following are the steps involved in a scrotal ultrasound test
– The patient will be asked to remove all clothing from his waist down. He is then asked to put on a hospital gown that opens from the back
– The patient is then asked to lie down on his back with his scrotum facing upwards. He may be asked to rest his feet on a stool
– The technician will position a probe, covered with a protective sheath, over the scrotum- Gel is then applied on the scrotum to enhance sound wave transmission
– The test takes around 2 minutes to complete. The results are available immediately.
What are the common findings of a Scrotum Ultrasound scan?
The ultrasonography helps in detecting abnormalities in the epididymis, testis, and spermatic cord. The following are some of the common findings:
– Testicular cancer: This is a common finding in patients with testicular cancer. The ultrasound can help identify the size, shape, and location of the tumour.
– Enlarged veins (varicocele): This is a common condition that is caused by enlarged and tortuous veins in the scrotum.
– A cyst of the epididymis: This can indicate chronic epididymitis, which is caused by an inflammation of the epididymal duct. The ultrasound helps determine that whether it is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass
– Undescended testicle: This is a condition in which one or both testicles fail to move down into the scrotum. The ultrasound can help identify the location of the undescended testicle.
– Testicular torsion: This is a condition in which the testicle rotates on its axis, thereby cutting off its blood supply. The ultrasound scan can help identify the presence of this condition.
– Spermatic cord torsion: This is a condition in which the spermatic cord twists, thereby cutting off its blood supply. The ultrasound scan can help identify the presence of this condition
– Testicular rupture: This is a rare but serious condition in which the testicle becomes swollen and painful because of leakage of its fluid contents into the surrounding area. The ultrasound scan can help identify this condition.
– Varicocele: This is an enlargement or dilation of veins in the scrotum which are present either inside or outside the spermatic cord. This condition can lead to infertility. The ultrasound scan can help identify the presence of this condition
.- Hydrocele: This is a condition in which there is an accumulation of fluid in the scrotal sac. The ultrasound scan can help identify the presence of this condition.
– Spermatocele: This is a cyst that contains sperm. The ultrasound scan can help identify the presence of this condition.
– Cryptorchidism: This is a condition in which one or both testicles are not located in the scrotum. The ultrasound scan can help identify the presence of this condition.
– Scrotal hernia: This is a condition in which a portion of the intestine protrudes through the wall of the scrotum. The ultrasound scan can help identify the presence of this condition.
– Epididymitis: This is an inflammation of the epididymal duct that can lead to infertility. The ultrasound scan can help identify the presence of this condition.
What does the scrotum ultrasound test cost?
The ultrasound of the testes and scrotum cost may vary depending on the geographical location. However, on average, it may cost around $300.
What are the risks associated with a Scrotal Ultrasound scan?
The risks associated with a scrotal ultrasound scan are minimal. Some of the potential risks include:
– Minor discomfort during the procedure
– Bruising or swelling after the procedure
– Infection at the site of injection
– Low risk of bleeding
– Unintentional puncture of the scrotum skin
What are the limitations associated with a Scrotal Ultrasound scan?
A scrotum ultrasound scan may not be able to identify all abnormalities. Some common conditions that can’t be identified by this test include:
– Blood clots
– Injury to the testicle
– Infection of the lymph nodes
– Enlarged scrotum on account of infection or kidney failure
– Tumors that are located outside the scrotum
– Testicular cancer has spread to other parts of the body.