HomeTechnologyTaking an ultrasound: a brief overview

Taking an ultrasound: a brief overview


If you’re unlucky enough to need an ultrasound on a weekend, you’re better off looking for a clinic that offers a private ultrasound scan in London to save you from the hassle of being in a hospital where people usually get themselves checked.

Besides its typical use for detecting pregnancy, ultrasound tests are used to diagnose a variety of conditions including stomach problems, abdominal pain, and gallbladders.

If you or a friend you know will be having an ultrasound, here are a few pointers to keep in mind to make sure that you undergo the process correctly to receive the best and most accurate results.

What ultrasound scans are for

An ultrasound is a procedure that is done to see images of soft tissues like the liver, kidney, and pancreas along with other parts of the body. It’s generally considered to be safe as it does not use magnets or radiation compared to MRI scans and X-ray scans. The scan uses high-frequency sound waves through a transducer to detect information on the body which then appears as an image on a monitor. As a diagnostic tool, it is used to identify abnormal growths in soft tissues, cancer growth, and gallstones.

The procedure

A medical professional called a sonographer will operate the ultrasound equipment. He or she will explain the method to you and its processes, but there’s not much to say as the test will be done for roughly a few minutes to half an hour at the most. Depending on the clinic’s protocol, you may be advised to switch to a hospital gown. You will be provided with a bag or a locker to store your belongings as you change. Hand your appointment letter to the sonographer as it will indicate on which body part he/she will perform the scan.

Performing an ultrasound does not require anaesthetic or injections. Usually, you will be tasked to lie down on a bed to have a more visible view of the scan as the sonographer applies a water-based gel to your skin depending on the area of the scan. Ultrasound scans are relatively harmless procedures where the only discomfort you might feel would be from a full bladder that you would need when scanning specific areas. For abdominal pain, pressure may need to be applied to see if masses are around the tissues inside your body.

After the procedure, there won’t be any restrictions on what you can do or what you can and can’t eat.

Safety reminders

Since ultrasound isn’t an invasive procedure, you won’t need that many precautions in preparing yourself for the scan. One of the few considerations that you should keep in mind during a scan is that if the ultrasound is around your pelvis, kidneys, bladder, or pancreas, you will be advised to have a full bladder. Having your pancreas scanned will require you to fast for a few hours before you undergo the scanning process.


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