An ultrasound examination uses sound waves to produce an image onto a screen that shows the inside of your body.  An ultrasound examination is performed by a Sonographer using a smooth, hand held device called a transducer.  

An ultrasound examination could be requested for many reasons. You will be most familiar with its use in obstetrics (medical care during pregnancy and childbirth).  There are also many other reasons that an ultrasound examination may be requested. For example, it is used to examine abdominal and other organs. Colour Doppler ultrasound can be used to watch blood flow in any of the arteries or veins throughout the various parts of your body. High-resolution ultrasound can be used to evaluate the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones and joints related). Breast ultrasound is an important part of the assessment of any breast lump.  


This will depend on the type of ultrasound examination that is requested. Preparations for different examinations vary so please ask the receptionist for information regarding the preparation for your examination.

during your examination

You are normally asked to lie down on a bed and the area to be examined is exposed while the rest of the body is covered. Clear gel is applied to the area of your body which is being imaged. The sonographer will then place the “transducer”onto this area using gentle pressure. The transducer is moved across the area with a sliding and rotating action to allow the image to project onto the screen. The sonographer takes still photographs from the moving images on the screen.

On some occasions, you may benefit from a transvaginal ultrasound.  You will be asked to empty your bladder before starting the scan.  The internal approach of this scan enables the sonographer to view your uterus and ovaries and obtain a more accurate reading giving you the best chance of the most accurate diagnosis.  

Typically, an ultrasound examination will take about 30 minutes. However, some examinations, especially vascular imaging (blood vessel related), may take longer than this because of the detailed imaging that is required and the number and size of the organ or organs being examined.  

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