An ultrasound scan is a common diagnostic test using high frequency sound waves (not x-rays), to produce images of the inside of the body. 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)
Ultrasound scans are available every weekday including evenings and on Saturdays.
You will need to be referred for diagnostic imaging by a GP or healthcare professional before you can have an ultrasound scan.
Depending on the type of examination you are having you may need to prepare, for example by fasting or filling your bladder. If any preparation is required, you will be told when booking your appointment. We have dedicated patient waiting areas and changing facilities to enable you to prepare for your scan in a friendly, comfortable and relaxed environment - you may be given a gown to change into depending on which area of the body is being scanned.
Once ready, your sonographer or Consultant Radiologist will accompany you into the scanning room and ask you to lie down on a bed. They will spread a thin layer of clear gel onto your skin over the area to be scanned and slide the ultrasound probe over this area until a good image can be found. The scan should be painless and will take between 15-30 minutes depending on which area is being scanned.
A Consultant Radiologist or Ultrasonographer will read and report on the images from your scan. Images and results will be sent to the doctor, consultant or specialist who referred you for ultrasound for them to discuss with you. This is generally within 48 hours but can be sooner.