Ultrasound is a very safe and well tolerated examination very good at looking at certain organs and diseases/problems associated with those organs. It is a painless examination using soundwaves, not x-ray, with no known harmful effects to humans. You will probably be asked to prepare for your scan by either fasting or attending with a full bladder (depending on the examination) and to wear loose fitting clothing.
In most cases you will lie on a medical couch and the sonographer will apply a water based gel to the area to be scanned and then pass a probe over the skin but for some pelvic female examinations an internal scan (vaginal scan) may also be suggested. A chaperone is available for all intimate scans and you are also free to bring someone with you if you wish.
What will I experience during and after the procedure?
Ultrasound examinations are usually painless and easily tolerated by most patients. Most types of Ultrasound examinations are completed within 20 minutes. If a Doppler Ultrasound study is performed, you may actually hear pulse-like sounds that change in pitch as the blood flow is monitored and measured.
When the examination is complete, you may be asked to dress and wait while the ultrasound images are reviewed. After an ultrasound examination, you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.
Who interprets the results and how do I get them?
A sonographer will perform the scan and write a report based on what they have seen. In some cases the report and images will be sent to a consultant radiologist for a second opinion if the sonographer feels that this is necessary. Follow-up examinations may be necessary, and recommendations may be included in your report. Sometimes a follow-up exam is done because a suspicious or questionable finding needs clarification with additional views or a special imaging technique.
A follow-up examination may also be necessary so that any change in a known abnormality can be monitored over time. Follow-up examinations are sometimes the best way to see if treatment is working or if an abnormality is stable over time. The report will be sent to your doctor.
There is a waiting list for an NHS Ultrasound scan, can I make a private appointment?
Yes, you can book a private appointment at a number of our clinics. Please go to the following website for more information: www.ultrasoundnow.co.uk