Create Ultrasound Phantoms
It is important to refine your technique and get your triangulation spot-on before attempting ultrasound-guided Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) and biopsy in your patients. Making an ultrasound phantom is an easy (and fun!) way to get some practice in with your colleagues at work.
Believe it or not, there are heaps of papers in the academic literature detailing how to make the best homemade phantoms – from SPAM to tofu, the only limit to making a phantom is your imagination! Ultrasound Training Solutions has a DIY Phantom Compendium with various recipes you can try out. In the meantime, here is the recipe that we use here at BCF Ultrasound:
- Plastic containers
- 2 tbsp Jelly crystals & 1 tbsp Psyllium Husk per 300ml Boiling water
- Food colouring to increase opacity of mix
- Chux cloth for top layer (to simulate skin)
Add to layers as required:
- Foreign bodies to biopsy or aspirate (e.g. grapes, new potatoes, jelly babies)
- Small water balloons – for “cystocentesis”
Start by letting 2cm layer of the mix to set before placing your “foreign bodies” in and filling up the remainder of the moulds. Place the Chux cloth on top before it sets to create a “skin”. This layer adds some stability for when you apply the ultrasound probe and it also doesn’t let you cheat by looking at where you are aspirating!
Another easy recipe is available from BCF Technology using tofu, ultrasound gel, grapes, new potatoes and cling wrap.
Let us know how you get on with your phantoms!