Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a medical imaging procedure using high frequency sound to create pictures to look at soft tissue in your body.

You will be shown into the ultrasound room and asked to either lie down on a couch or sit on a chair. A warmed clear gel like substance is then applied on your skin on to the area of interest. The sound waves don’t travel through air so this allows transmission of the sound waves into your body. A hand-held probe produces sound waves that will form the images. You will be completely unaware of these sound waves and there should be no discomfort during the examination apart from a little pressure.

Ultrasound is generally a painless procedure. Unlike X-rays, it does not have radiation. A sonographer will perform the examination.

Preparation
Depending on the type of examination you are having you will be given instructions on how to prepare for your scan. For some scans you will be asked to change into a gown.

Other examinations you may need a full bladder, or you may need to fast. The procedure time will vary depending on the type of exam and the level of your preparation. Most exams will take around 30 minutes. Some will take 45-60 minutes.

Our experienced radiologist looks at the images and sends the results to your treating doctor. You need to discuss the results with your treating doctor.

Risks
Ultrasound has been safely used in medical diagnosis for over 40 years. Studies have shown that it is a safe technique with no harmful side effects.

More Information
- InsideRadiology by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
- RadiologyInfo by the American College of Radiology and Radiological Society of North America
- ACI Radiology Network

Printer-friendly Ultrasound Fact Sheet