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WHAT TO EXPECT 
FOR AN
ULTRASOUND

Most ultrasound examinations require no preparation. 

However, there are exceptions eg:

  • For some scans, such as a gallbladder ultrasound, do not eat or drink for a certain period before the exam.

  • In a pelvic ultrasound, the scan may require a full bladder. Your doctor will let you know how much water you need to drink before the exam. Do not urinate until the exam is done.

  • Follow the instructions from your doctor or ultrasound staff in the case of young children, which may need additional preparation.

Before an Ultrasound     

  • Wear loose comfortable clothing, avoiding zippers and snaps. 

  • Remove all jewellery or any metal objects will need to be removed prior to the ultrasound scan. This includes watches, earrings, necklaces, piercings (such as ear, nipple, nose rings), dentures, hearing aids as metal nearby may affect the readings.

During an Ultrasound  

  • Generally, external ultrasound is done with the probe moved over the skin where lubrication gel is applied. A healthcare professional (sonographer) moves the probe against the skin to capture the images of the area being studied. The probe sends sound waves into your body, and that bounce back and sent to a computer, to create the images.

  • Ultrasound is usually painless. However, in scans of the womb or pelvic area, where a full bladder is required that may cause a little discomfort. 

  • A typical ultrasound scan takes from 30 minutes to an hour

     

After an Ultrasound Scan

  • An Ultrasound scan is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure.

  • After the scan, you can go home and resume normal activities. 

  • Your Ultrasound scan needs to be studied by a radiologist and possibly discussed with other specialists. 

  • The radiologist will send a fuller report to the doctor who arranged the scan, who will then discuss the results with you. 

  • It usually takes 1-2 days for the results of an Ultrasound scan to come through unless they're needed urgently