Non-Obstetric Ultrasound Service
What is an ultrasound scan?
An ultrasound scan is an examination using high frequency sound waves, not x-rays. The echoes form a picture on the screen of the internal organs of the body.
Who will carry out the scan?
The person who will perform the scan is a qualified sonographer.
What happens before my scan?
When you have agreed a date for your scan you may be asked to follow some dietary requirements prior to the examination, such as fasting for 6 hours for an upper abdominal scan or filling your bladder for pelvic examinations. This will ensure we obtain the best possible images during your test. Failure to follow the preparation instructions may result in the examination being delayed or postponed to another day.
What happens when I attend the scan?
You will be asked to lie on the examination couch in a dimly lit room. Special gel will be applied to the area under investigation and the sonographer will run a probe over the skin surface. You may be asked to hold your breath at times during the scan whilst images are taken. On completion of examination the skin is wiped clean.
Will I have to undress?
Generally not, however the sonographer may ask you to adjust your clothes for access.
Will it hurt?
Having an ultrasound is not a painful procedure, however if you have an area of particular tenderness the probe may feel a little uncomfortable in that region.
How long will it take?
If you have followed the correct preparation the examination will last approximately 10 to 20 minutes depending on the area under investigation.
Are there any after effects or risks?
There are no after effects. You may eat or drink as normal. The ultrasound gel does not stain clothes. There are no known risks with an ultrasound scan and it is considered to be very safe.
What happens if I am on medication?
Please continue to use any medication prescribed with a sip of water if necessary.
If you are diabetic and have been asked to starve for your scan, please ring 01472 255630 for advice as an early appointment may be more appropriate. Food and your insulin medication can be brought to the department to be taken immediately after the examination.
If you have been informed to drink water and are on a daily restricted fluid regime please ask to discuss this with the sonographer.
What if I am pregnant?
There are no known risks to the baby from ultrasound scans.
When will I get the results?
The results are attached directly to your GP patient records and will be available for your next GP Surgery appointment.
Who should I ask if I have any further questions? Unfortunately the sonographer is not at liberty to discuss the findings of your scan with you, however feel free to ask the sonographer anything else you may be worried about or do not quite understand.