How to Protect Your Ultrasound Probes and Identify Problems of a Broken Ultrasound Probe

Have you got a broken ultrasound probe? And do you want to fix them or make sure that they will not break again?

Transducers for ultrasound machines are, without a doubt, a vital part of a fully functional ultrasound unit.

In the following post, we will map common probe failures due to misusage, along with pictures and descriptions of the failure and defects.

You might be able to fix the probe yourself. If not, our team of specialists is ready to help you in case you need it. At LBN Medical we can repair broken ultrasound probes and also provide you with new ones.

Check out our wide selection of ultrasound probes from top brands such as Philips, GE, Toshiba, and Siemens, and do not hesitate to contact our sales department with your inquiries, or questions at

First of all, you should remember that you have to handle ultrasound transducers with certain care to ensure that they will keep working at their best.

You should consider a set of precautions when working with the probes. Such as:

  • Putting protective bags around the transducer head, or attaching safety wires to the probe to avoid dropping it on the floor.

There are some precautions you should not only consider but strictly follow:

  • Never use disinfectant fluids containing alcohol, as they will dry out the lens of the probe.
  • Moreover, never bend and twist the cable, as there are 128-320 small wires and each has a connection to a crystal.

If these wires tear up, the signal will greatly reduce or even completely disappear. And remember, rough and careless treatment of equipment is never covered by any warranty.

Broken Ultrasound Probes

In the table below, you can see examples of the most common defects:

Crack in Housing of the Probe

Most probably, the probe has been dropped or hit by another object.

broken ultrasound probes

Dried-out Lens

Use of disinfection, not suitable for transducer lenses. It usually happens when you clean the probe with fluids containing alcohol. Sometimes you can save it by using a proper gel.

Dried out Ultrasound Probe

Crack in the Ultrasound Probe

This crack is creating noise in the picture, a missing connection, or lines in the image. The common reason for the noise in the picture is a hole in the lens. It could have been caused by a hit by another object, by falling on the floor, wear and tear of the wires, or a cut of the wire by a sharp object such as a scalpel

Broken Ultrasound probes

Damaged Crystal in the Probe

This defect reflects dead, damaged, or weak crystals. Either the probe was dropped on the floor or the gel bottle hit the lens.

Damaged Crystal Ultrasound Probe

Broken Ultrasound Probe Cable

This can cause noise in an image, missing connections, or lines in the image. Most probably, a cart/system ran over the cable and caused wear and tear in the wires. Getting hit, or exposed to pressure over an extended period, can also cause the wires to become stacked together. Then the wire is not fine and its shape is not rounded anymore.

Broken Ultrasound Probe Cable

Ultrasound Probe Artifact

Noise or missing connection. Possibly, the strain relief broke due to bending, a system could have run over the cable, or the connector could have been dropped.

Ultrasound Probe Artifact

Sum Up

Have you learned more about broken ultrasound probes and how to prevent their defects?

Please notice, the explanations for the broken ultrasound probes are not 100% the causes that we have listed. This is a list that our technical department has provided us with. It contains the defects they commonly see on probes and a logical explanation of why they have appeared.

We always recommend treating your transducers with care. Moreover, we encourage you to only use them the way the manufacturer of the transducer proposes.

Finally, would you like to find out what kind of ultrasound probes are on the market?

Read our blog post about ultrasound transducer types and how to select the right transducer.

And if you are looking for the perfect ultrasound, do not miss our extensive guide to ultrasounds. Also, check out the many used ultrasounds we have in stock.

What is next?

If you would like to learn even more about ultrasounds, you can sign up below to receive an e-book: ‘How to pick your next ultrasound’ and become part of our ultrasound e-mail course.

In multiple e-mails, this course will guide you through several themes related to your next ultrasound purchase.

How to pick your ultrasound e-book - LBN Medical