What is an ultrasound examination?
An ultrasound scan is a means of imaging the body in "real time", using high frequency sound waves which are not audible to the human ear. Ultrasound images complement other forms of scan and are widely used for many different parts of the body.
Ultrasound examinations are typically used for examinations during pregnancy, musculo-skeletal examinations of tendons and joints, assessing breast tissue and soft tissue lumps on the head and neck, and examinations of the abdominal and pelvis for various general, urological, and gynaecological problems.
What does this involve?
Once you arrive for your appointment you will be seen by a radiologist who will be looking at the images on a computer screen during the scan. An ultrasound scan takes around 20 minutes.
You will need to remove your clothes and will be provided with a gown. We will ask you to lie down on a couch and the lights will be dimmed so that the images can be seen more clearly on the screen. A gel will be applied over the area of your body that is to be scanned.
An ultrasound image is obtained from a small hand-held probe which is moved across your skin. The probe generates sound waves, which enable it to detect any echoes reflected from tissues within the body, which in turn produce the image.
After the scan the images will be examined further and a report on the findings will be passed to your doctor.
When will I recover?
Ultrasound imaging can be done as an outpatient and you will be able to go home immediately afterwards. This is a relatively quick, non-invasive and safe procedure with no known harmful effects.