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Male reproductive anatomy
Male reproductive anatomy


Testicular ultrasound
Testicular ultrasound


Scrotal ultrasound

Definition:

Scrotal ultrasound is an imaging test that looks at the scrotum. It is the flesh-covered sac that hangs between the legs at the base of the penis and contains the testicles.

The testicles are the male reproductive organs that produce sperm and the hormone testosterone . They are located in the scrotum , along with other small organs, blood vessels, and a small tube called the vas deferens.



Alternative Names:

Testicular ultrasound; Testicular sonogram



How the Test is Performed:

You lie on your back with your legs spread. The health care provider drapes a cloth across your thighs under the scrotum or applies wide strips of adhesive tape to the area. The scrotal sac will be slightly raised with the testicles lying side by side.

A clear gel is applied to the scrotal sac to help transmit the sound waves. A handheld probe (the ultrasound transducer) is then moved over the scrotum by the technologist. The ultrasound machine sends out high-frequency sound waves. These waves reflect off areas in the scrotum to create a picture.



How to Prepare for the Test:

No special preparation is needed for this test.



How the Test will Feel:

There is little discomfort. The conducting gel may feel slightly cold and wet.



Why the Test is Performed:

A testicle ultrasound is done to:

  • Help determine why one or both testicles have become larger
  • To look at a mass or lump in one or both of the testicles
  • Find the reason for pain in the testicles
  • Show how blood flows through the testicles


Normal Results:

The testicles and other areas in the scrotum appear normal.



What Abnormal Results Mean:

Possible causes of abnormal results include:



Risks:

There are no known risks. You will not be exposed to radiation with this test.



Considerations:

In certain cases, Doppler ultrasound may help identify blood flow inside the scrotum. This method can be helpful in cases of testicular torsion, because blood flow to the twisted testicle may be reduced.



References:

Shaida N, Berman L. Male Genitourinary Tract. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, Gillard JH, et al. eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 6th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2014:chap 40.




Review Date: 7/27/2014
Reviewed By: Jason Levy, MD, Northside Radiology Associates, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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Goryeb Children's Hospital
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Atlantic Medical Group
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Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Affiliated Providers

Atlantic Medical Group

More than 600 community-based health care providers.
1-800-247-9580

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