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Patient Information Guide: General Ultrasound Scans

Knowledge Hub

4 mins readFact Checked
Author of post icon

Written By:

Atif Riaz

Medically Reviewed By:

Mr M. Usman

Introduction

This guide explains the ultrasound scans that are performed, how to prepare for the scan, what happens during the scan and possible risks.

We hope it will help to answer some of the questions you may have. If you have any further questions or concerns, please speak to a member of our team.

What is an ultrasound scan?

Ultrasound is a tool that allows healthcare professionals to see inside your body to help diagnose medical conditions. An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound saves and computers to visualise the internal organs and other structures inside the body. Ultrasound scans are very safe and do not use radiation or X-rays.

How does it work?

The ultrasound scan is performed by either a sonographer or a doctor who is highly trained to carry out these scans. They could be a male or female. The healthcare professional uses a hand-held device called a transducer, which transmits sound waves into the body.

The scan can take between 10 -30 minutes.

What do I need to do before my scan?

The preparation required for your scan will vary and be detailed on the corresponding scan page. This information will also be sent to your email once you have booked.

Please note that children are not allowed in the scan room. If a child needs to come to your ultrasound scan with you, please organise for a responsible adult to supervise them in the waiting area.

Can I bring a friend or relative?

You may bring a friend or relative with you to your appointment and if you wish, they can usually accompany you into the examination room. You can request to have a chaperone present during the scan.

What happens during the procedure?

The scans are performed in a modern ultrasound scan room that may be dimly lit to see the images produced on the screen more clearly. We will ask you to lie down on an examination couch. We will then put ultrasound gel on your skin over the area concerned, such as your abdomen. This will help us to produce a better-quality image. We will move an ultrasound transducer (probe) over your skin. We may need to press quite firmly in the area where you may be having pain. Please let us know if you feel uncomfortable at any point during the scan.

Female gynaecological or obstetric scans, including certain pregnancy scans, may require an internal scan.

Male reproductive scans looking at the male genitalia will necessitate undressing from the waist down. Once inside the scan room, you will be given a paper sheet or gown to cover yourself with and asked to undress from the waist down, including removing your underwear. You will be asked to lie on the examination couch and cover yourself with the sheet provided. The transducer (probe) is cleaned and lubricated with a gel before use. The probe will be moved around over the external genitalia. It is usually a painless procedure however, occasionally some people may experience some discomfort. The examination may take between 10 – 20 minutes.

What happens after the scan?

When the scan is finished, you will be given a paper towel to wipe off any gel, and you will be able to dress and leave. You will be able to return to your usual daily activities.

Are there any risks

Ultrasound scanning does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays) and is considered a very safe test. There are usually no ill effects from the scan.

How do I get my results?

A written report of the scan will be sent to your nominated email within 48 hours following the scan.

Questions

If you have any questions or concerns before your appointment, please contact our customer care team at 02039047706.

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Fact Check Information

The Scan Clinic is committed to providing accurate and objective educational content about health and medical related topics. We know that there is a lot of misinformation out there, and we take our responsibility to be a trustworthy source of information seriously. Every article on our site is thoroughly fact-checked by our team of writers.

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