What is an ultrasound scan?
An ultrasound scan is an examination using a special device which is sensitive to sound waves. A special jelly-like substance is put on your skin to allow the sound waves to be easily recorded and displayed on screen.
How does it work?
Sound waves are emitted by a hand held device called a transducer. The transducer then directs inaudible, high-frequency sound waves in to the body. As these waves pass through the body they come in contact with the body's fluids and tissues, this causes some of the sound to be reflected (bounced) back to the transducer which then records the strength and character of the reflected waves.
The different signal strengths are then converted by the ultrasound machine to be viewed as pictures on its screen.
Who does the scan?
The scan will be carried out by one of our Radiologists or Ultrasonographers. Who are especially trained to interpret the data and images on the ultrasound screen.
Preparation for the scan
Depending on the type of ultrasound examination you are having, you may need to follow certain instructions about fasting and having a full bladder. These instructions will be in the appointment letter you receive.
The ultrasound scan
You will be asked to remove any inhibiting clothing and then lay on a couch, the ultrasonographer will apply a special gel to the part of the body being scanned and slide the transducer across that part of the body to acquire an image.
General ultrasound is used for numerous conditions ranging from looking at the functions of various organs such as kidneys, condition of joints, soft tissue and biopsies.
Doppler ultrasound looks specifically at the blood flow in blood vessels.
Obstetric ultrasound scans are specifically related to pregnancy and the baby's progress throughout the pregnancy.
How long does it take?
Ultrasound is not a painful examination and takes between 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of examination.
After the scan
After your ultrasound scan you will be able to return to your normal daily routine.