What is an Ultrasound?

An Ultrasound scan is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to view internal organs and produce images of the human body. The human ear cannot hear the sound waves used in an ultrasound. Ultrasound is painless and harmless. There are no known risks. It is commonly used to image the following parts of the body: abdomen, pelvis, thyroid, breast, soft tissues, muscles, blood vessels and developing fetus and embryo.

If your doctor wants to check the liver or gallbladder, you may be asked to eat nothing (fast) for several hours before the procedure. For individuals going for a scan of the pelvis or during pregnancy, especially early pregnancy, the doctor or nurse will ask them to drink plenty of water and to avoid urinating several hours before the test. When the bladder is full, the nearby loops of intestine are displaced, and the scan produces a better image of the uterus.
For females undergoing a pelvic ultrasound, a transvaginal examination is commonly used which provides more detailed imaging of the pelvis. During this procedure, a probe will be placed internally (by the technician or, you, if preferable) into the vaginal canal. Should you have any questions, queries or prefer a female technician please let our receptionist know.

Are there any risks?

There are no known harmful effects on humans Ultrasound imaging is extremely safe and does not use any ionizing radiation. Occasionally, an ultrasound exam may be temporarily uncomfortable, but it should not be painful.