An ultrasound image is produced by a machine that sends high frequency sound waves through the body and then records the echoes (sound waves) that return. The returning echoes are recorded by a computer and displayed on a screen.
Ultrasound is an incredibly versatile imaging modality that is commonly used for almost any soft tissue area in the body. The main areas of imaging include organs of the abdomen, musculoskeletal, vascular and obstetrics.
When you arrive you will be asked to complete a simple form. Tea, coffee and soft drinks are available if you are allowed to drink. Our waiting room has newspapers, magazines and internet access to make your short wait more pleasant.
On arrival, one of our Radiographers will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
You will be asked to lie or sit on a couch, and the lights in the room may be dimmed so that the pictures on the monitor can be seen more clearly. A gel will be applied to your skin over the area to be scanned and is an essential requirement to get images back to the computer.
For some examinations such as those of the prostate gland, womb or ovaries, it may be necessary to place an ultrasound probe in the rectum or the vagina to look at internal structures. If you are having an intimate examination the radiologist will describe the procedure to you, and your consent will be sought. In these cases, you may wish for a third person (a “chaperone”) to be present.
How long will it take?
You can expect the scan to last between 20-30 minutes. Please give yourself plenty of time for your appointment.
After the examination
Following the examination the images are processed and reviewed by a Consultant Radiologist who will provide your doctor with a report. You should then make a follow up appointment with your doctor to discuss these results.