Ultrasound is a painless imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to view organs, blood vessels, muscles, and other structures inside the body. An ultrasound can be performed on various parts of the body such as the chest, abdomen, and carotid arteries. Getting an ultrasound is painless, and you’ll be awake for the duration of the test – usually 30-60 minutes. An ultrasound technologist will apply a gel to the area being studied and slide a wand across your skin to view the image produced on a computer screen.