When your doctor has requested an ultrasound, you will come to Radiology for a procedure to enable us to see the flow of blood or check your internal organs.

What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound captures images of a variety of organs and blood vessels. For example, it can be used to examine the liver, the gall bladder, the kidneys and the reproductive organs.

The flow of blood within blood vessels can also be monitored. It is frequently used in pregnancy to assess the baby's growth and development.

This procedure is done by a Radiologist (doctor). There will be some large machines, which are very safe. Specialised staff will remain with you throughout your stay. You will be awake during the procedure and a nurse will be with you at all times.

Is it safe?

Unlike x-rays, ultrasound uses sound waves that are passed through the body and the returning echoes are recorded (similar to the sonar on a ship).

Provided the ultrasound equipment is used only by trained personnel and in the proper manner, there is no danger from an ultrasound examination. This procedure is safe and painless.

What happens during the procedure?

The ultrasound examination usually takes between 20 minutes and one hour depending upon the area being examined.

When you arrive, you will be taken into a change room and asked to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown. Underwear remains on unless otherwise directed by Radiology personnel.

The Sonographer will guide you throughout the procedure:

  • When you are ready, you will be taken to the ultrasound room and asked to lie in position on a trolley.
  • Some gel will be placed over the area to be examined and the ultrasound will be performed.
  • Slight pressure is used as the ultrasound is moved around your body, but it should not be painful.

What happens after the procedure?

You can get changed back into your clothes, and go home.

The Sonographer is not allowed to give you any results. Your results will be discussed with you by your local doctor at your next visit.

In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.