In this medical video learn how a new way to interpret ultrasounds is making life easier for patients and doctors.
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Jennifer Matthews: Shardonna Amaya needs energy to keep up with her son Carlos, energy she didn't have for nearly two years -- while doctors tried to figure out why she had intense pelvic pain. Shardonna Amaya: I found myself kinda doubting my capabilities of being a mom. I didn't think I was doing the best I could do. Jennifer Matthews: Several conventional ultrasound scans didn't detect anything. Then doctors at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., finally solved the mystery by using a new ultrasound system with a technology called Volume Imaging Protocol. A quick scan with a wand captures the images in half the time of an old ultrasound machine but what happens next, however, is really revolutionary. Standard ultrasound produces a still image -- showing only a slice of the organ. Compare that to the new machine, which captures a moving, 3-D image of the entire organ. And for the first time, it allows radiologists to manipulate the image any way they want in their search for a diagnosis. Dr. Michael Smith: We can see angles we couldn't see before. Jennifer Matthews: It decreases the need for repeat scans and makes diagnosing patients much easier. Dr. Michael Smith: We used to have a backlog, a waiting list of 21 or 22 days, and now we can offer next day service. Jennifer Matthews: It finally allowed doctors to figure out Amaya had polycystic ovary syndrome. She got treated and now is energetic and healthy enough to consider having a second child. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.