Ultrasound (sonography) uses sound waves to produce images of your internal organs and other structures. This simple, effective diagnostic tool can help your physician diagnose and plan treatment for masses, inflammation, abscesses, and other conditions. In women, ultrasound also helps evaluate issues involving the reproductive system. This exam can also be used to monitor postsurgical changes. Unlike some other kinds of exam, ultrasound does not require dyes (contrast media) or radiation.