Ultrasound (U/S)

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound (U/S) is an imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves to acquire information about the body part/s being examined. Ultrasound equipment transmits sound waves, which are reflected by the body tissues. The returning sound waves are then converted into images. U/S scans are only performed through the area of interest, not the entire body.

U/S can also be used by Radiologists to assist them in performing interventional radiology procedures. Under these circumstances ultrasound images are used to navigate around the anatomy.


Preparation – What to do before an ultrasound scan

The preparation required for an U/S varies with the actual body part being scanned and the clinical symptoms your doctor is investigating.

At Southern Radiology standard preparation instructions are as follows:

Body Part/Preparation Preparation
Abdomen Exceptions are :

 

Continue to take medication with a sip of water if necessary.

If you are diabetic  advise our staff when booking your appointment so we can ensure your safety. We may need to amend preparation instructions or booking times  to accommodate your needs.

Breast No preparation is required
Interventional Procedures (biopsy, injection, aspiration) Specific preparation instructions will be given when you book your appointment.
Musculoskeletal No preparation is required
Obstetric (pregnancy), Pelvis, Prostate

 

Empty your bladder 1 ½ hours prior to your appointment time. Drink 1 litre of water over the following ½ an hour (finish drinking approximately 1 hour prior to your appointment time).

DO NOT empty your bladder again until the sonographer asks you to do so.

If you are having trouble retaining a full bladder please ask our staff for assistance.

   
Renal (Kidney) A full bladder + 6 hrs fasting is required. Nothing to eat, only water to drink.

 

Empty your bladder 1 ½ hours prior to your appointment time. Drink 1 litre of water over the following ½ an hour (finish drinking approximately 1 hour prior to your appointment time).

DO NOT empty your bladder again until the sonographer asks you to do so.

If you are having trouble retaining a full bladder please ask our staff for assistance.

Continue to take any regular medication with water if necessary.

If you are diabetic advise our staff when booking your appointment so we can ensure your safety. We may need to amend preparation instructions or booking times  to accommodate your needs.

Testes No preparation is required
Thyroid No preparation is required
Vascular
  • Aorta - Fast for 8 hrs prior to your appointment. Nothing to eat or drink.
    Exception are :
    Continue to take regular medication with a sip of water if necessary.
    If you are diabetic advise our staff when booking your appointment so we can ensure your safety. We may need to amend preparation instructions or booking times  to accommodate your needs.
  •  Carotid (neck) arteries - No preparation is required
  • Leg arteries - No preparation is required
  • Leg veins - No preparation is required
  • Renal(kidney) arteries - Fast for 8 hrs prior to your appointment. Nothing to eat or drink. Exception are: Continue to take regular medication with a sip of water if necessary. If you are diabetic advise our staff when booking your appointment so we can ensure your safety
  • On occasion examinations require more detailed preparation. If this is necessary our staff will advise you of any variances to the standard instructions listed above when you make your appointment.
  • Any preparation advice given is very important to follow. All instructions are aimed at ensuring you receive a safe and accurate examination. At the time of booking please advise our staff of any medical conditions that may contraindicate standard preparation instructions.
  • If you take regular medication discuss this with our staff when making your appointment. You should continue to take your medication unless otherwise advised.
  • If you are a diabetic please ensure booking staff are made aware of this when you are making your appointment. We may need to amend preparation instructions or booking times  to accommodate your needs.
  • For all examinations we ask that you bring along any previous imaging you have of the area under investigation.
  • At Southern Radiology we require a written referral from a medical doctor before undertaking any medical imaging examinations. Please ensure you bring your referral with you to your appointment.

Bring your Medicare card for billing purposes


The procedure – What happens during your appointment and U/S scan?

The exact procedure for any medical imaging examination depends on what is being imaged and why.

Although there will be slight variations in what you can expect when you attend your U/S appointment, as a general guideline:

  • You will need to register with our secretarial staff upon arrival
  • You may be required to fill out some essential  medical history paperwork before we commence your test
  • You may be asked to change into a gown
  • For the U/S scan you will be asked to lay or sit on the examination couch. The sonographer will ask you to uncover the area to be scanned. Other parts of your body will not be exposed. To perform the scan an ultrasound probe or transducer will need to be in direct contact with your skin. In order to obtain smooth contact, the sonographer will apply a warm clear gel to the area being scanned. Whilst scanning, the probe will be moved in a sweeping motion over the area of interest. The sonographer may ask you to hold your breath or move your body into specific positions during the scan.
  • For some specialised scans an internal probe may need to be used. Under these circumstances the exact reasons, expected examination steps, and any questions you may have, will be discussed with you.
  • Your attending sonographer will explain all aspects of your scan to you prior to your examination. Your consent will be sought prior to commencing any part of the procedure.
  • For most examinations you will be given your U/S scan films at the end of your appointment.
  • Your examination report will be sent to your referring doctor


Appointment length – How long can I expect to be at Southern Radiology?

Your appointment includes the time it takes to:

  • register your details
  • complete important medical history paperwork
  • complete necessary preparation steps
  • complete the scan
  • collect your films

Scan times may vary but in order to allow for pre-procedural steps as well as aftercare as a general rule we advise you to allow up to an hour for your appointment.

For examinations with additional preparation of aftercare our staff will advise you of any further time requirements.

Is it safe?

Ultrasound is considered very safe. There is no ionising radiation and there are no known harmful effects

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About

Southern Radiology is a leading diagnostic imaging provider who is committed to providing prompt and professional care to both patients and referrers. We are one of the largest medical imaging providers servicing the southern, inner western and eastern suburbs of Sydney and led by our specialist diagnostic imaging radiologists, Southern Radiology provides you comprehensive diagnostic support across all imaging modalities.

Our services include diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, cardiac CT, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine and obstetric and gynaecological imaging. The Southern Radiology network consists of private community and hospital based practices, as well as two imaging research facilities.

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