An ultrasound scan is an examination that obtains a picture of internal organs and structures, using reflected high frequency sound waves. These "echoes" form a picture on the screen, which can then be examined for abnormalities. It will be performed by a Radiologist (doctor) or a Sonographer (specially trained radiographer). The examination doesn't use radiation, so it is safe to use on adults, pregnant women, children and babies.
The preparation required is stated on your appointment letter. It is important that you follow this carefully and accurately.
If the area to be examined is underneath your clothes you may be asked to put on a hospital gown. There is usually no need to remove false teeth, contact lenses or jewellery. When in the examination room you will be covered apart from the area to be examined. The room will be slightly darkened and the screen with the ultrasound picture will be beside the bed.
A gel will be put on your skin, over the area to be examined. The doctor or sonographer will move a small handheld probe over the skin. The scan will take between 10 and 45 minutes, depending on the complexity of the scan. During this time you may be asked to take deep breaths or change position to allow the area in question to be viewed from different angles.
After the examination, if you have been seen as an outpatient you may go home. Provided no other examinations are necessary you will be able to eat, drink and resume normal activities as soon as you wish.