An ultrasound scan is a common diagnostic test using high-frequency sound waves (not x-rays), to create an image of internal organs. The ultrasound probe is moved over the skin transmitting sound waves to the relevant internal body part; the echoes as they reflect or “bounce” off that part of your body are used to create an image.
Doppler ultrasound is an additional technique that can be used to examine blood vessels to provide both structural and functional information.
We carry out a wide range of ultrasound scans on various parts of the body including:
- Pelvic (trans-abdominal and internal)
- Renal tract, kidneys, gall bladder, pancreas and liver
- Carotid artery
- Cardiac and aortic aneurysm screening
- Orthopaedic and sports injuries scans
- Gynaecological scans
- Obstetric scans (6-11.5 weeks)
Preparation for your ultrasound
Depending on what area you are having scanned, you may be asked to drink water to fill your bladder, to fast for 4-6 hours or to follow a fat-free diet 12 hours prior to the scan appointment. If this is the case you will be given the appropriate instructions when you book your appointment.
Ultrasound scans usually take 15-30 minutes. Your sonographer or Consultant Radiologist will accompany you into the scanning room and ask you to lie down on a bed. They will apply a thin layer of clear gel onto your skin over the area to be scanned and a probe is then placed on the skin and moved over the area to be examined until a good image can be found.
After the scan
You can generally leave immediately after the scan and continue to eat & drink as normal. Results are returned to the referring doctor within 24-48 hours.