Hello~It is good that you are having it checked, it is probably nothing, but your doctor just wants to make sure.
The ultrasound will take approximately 10 to 30 minutes, and the results can be known almost immediately, if it is serious, they will probably have a doctor let you know while you are there, otherwise, they will tell you that your doctor will contact you with the results. The radiologist always has to read it first and give his interpretation as he/she is trained in reading these.
As to what to expect, well, the sonographer will put some gel in the area to be viewed, then use this doppler and go over the area slowly, as he/she does this, they will be looking at the screen and taking measurements of anything they see, whether it is significant or not. It will show blood flow in the area, any blockages, and any nodules. After the sonographer is finished, they will usually have the head radiologist go over to make sure that there is nothing serious and that all the doctor wanted to see is included in the scan, then, they will wipe off the gel and tell you can leave if they haven't detected anything that requires fast attention.
As far as how not to worry, well, it is pretty normal to be concerned, but try to occupy your mind with things you enjoy, watching funny TV shows or movies, taking walks, reading, if you are a Christian, then praying with friends helps lots as well. What ever you do, don't search "Dr Google" for any info, it will make matters worse, I know, I am the queen of that and have scared the bejeebers out of myself.
I hope all goes well, please let us know how the procedure went and the results when you are able.
Hi, Cpm. The sono techs aren't allowed to tell you what they see, but a few will anyway. So if you don't want to wait until a radiologist finally types up your report, to find out about that submandibular node of yours? Here's what I'd do: ask the tech the single most specific and relevant question, which is about this one fact, "Do you see the fatty hilum?" If the fatty hilum is present, then that almost certainly means not-cancer and you can relax. Don't ask, "Does everything look okay?" because that is asking the tech for a conclusion.
What if the fatty hilum is not present? That does not automatically mean cancer. Some inflammatory diseases that are not-cancer can destroy the hilum. Tuberculosis is a well known example.
Then there are also many other indicators in the node that the radiologist considers. You'll want your report to ultimately say things like "reactive" and "normal architecture". If you like, you can post the report here when you finally get it.
Here's a short vid that shows how things go. It mostly just involves the tech using the probe/transducer while looking at a screen. The process is the same for nodes, as it is in looking at the thyroid in this particular vid.
Good luck. The odds are in your favor that it is not-cancer. Of all the people who go to a doc because of an enlarged node, only about 3% have a cancer.
I just posted on your other thread as I hadn't seen this one yet.
I am NOT good at waiting, and I am the one who asks the tech all the questions about what they see. I feel you.
The one thing to know about the ultrasound is that it won't hurt. Some places warm the gel, others don't. If they don't, it might be really cold, but will warm up quickly on your skin.
In the meantime, keep yourself busy. Do all the fun things you like to do, do whatever healthy stuff works for stress relief - music, yoga, meditation, dance - whatever works for you.
Ask all your questions, and we'll do our best to answer, or just offer support.
Hang in there. As Ken said, the odds are in your favor. Even if it is cancer, you are taking good steps to get it diagnosed and then treated. We'll be here when you need it. :)