Please note that a referral letter is required before an appointment can be confirmed.
Ultrasound involves the medical use of very high frequency sound waves, which cannot be heard by the human ear. Ultrasound allows examination of the soft tissue structures of the body, such as the kidneys, liver etc. The sound waves are sent out from a small probe which is gently placed directly on the skin surface. These waves pass through the tissues without any sensation. They reflect back an image which is displayed on a monitor attached to the ultrasound machine. An ultrasound scan can be carried out safely during pregnancy as no x-rays are involved.
What you should know
On booking your ultrasound appointment, you will be given specific preparation instructions for your scan. Generally for examination of the upper abdomen, you will have to fast for approximately eight hours. For the lower abdomen, the scan is best done through a very full bladder. To achieve this, you normally need to drink one to two litres of liquid about one hour prior to your appointment.
You will be escorted to the examination room and asked to lie on a bed. An ultrasound gel will be applied to the skin. A small probe will be gently moved back and forth over the part of the body being examined. The scan will take approximately 20 minutes.
For standard outpatient ultrasound appointments, there are no precautions to follow after your scan. You can eat and drink normally, drive and can return to work immediately after your appointment if necessary.
Your scan will be reported by a consultant radiologist. The results will be sent directly to your referring doctor.
Ultrasound is considered a very safe scan as it uses sound waves and not radiation.
An ultrasound scan can be carried out safely during pregnancy as no x-rays are involved.