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What to expect at your ultrasound

What to expect at your ultrasound

Never had an ultrasound before or nervous about it? Read on to know what to expect at your ultrasound:

What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound is an imaging procedure used to examine a wide range of parts of your body like the muscles, tendons, womb, ovaries, testicles and even troublesome gallstones. Medical Ultrasounds are used to diagnose many health problems such as types of cancer, liver disease and blood clots. Its main purpose is to detect any changes or abnormalities in your organs, tissues or blood vessels. This is achieved by using high frequency sound waves to create an image from the inside of your body.

Our redevelopment of Benenden Hospital in 2017 included the construction of our light and bright atrium, a new outpatient area, new CTMRI, and diagnostic imaging facilities, our new physiotherapy suite, and our spacious restaurant. So, you will be welcomed into ultra-clean and modern imaging facilities.

What is a Sonographer?

A sonographer is a healthcare professional who specialises in the use of ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos or three-dimensional volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data.

What should I expect when I have an ultrasound?

At Benenden Hospital, your ultrasound will be performed as an outpatient procedure in our imaging department. Compared to other types of imaging, ultrasound scans are quite quick, usually lasting between five minutes and half an hour.

What should I wear

It is advisable to wear loose clothing to your ultrasound scan. Lying on a couch, your highly skilled sonographer will apply some conducting gel to the area on your body requiring a scan. This gel allows the scanning probe to glide effortlessly over your skin. Additionally, it helps with the transmission of the sound waves. The scanning probe provides a live image of the area being scanned onto a screen and photographs will also be taken for later examination.

Internal ultrasound

You may be required to have an internal ultrasound such as a transvaginal ultrasound. These scans are used to look at the ovaries, fallopian tubes or uterus. A small ultrasound probe is covered with a sterile material and passed into the vagina. These examinations don’t usually cause any pain but can be slightly uncomfortable for some.

Eating and drinking before

For some scans, usually of the pelvic area or female reproductive organs, you will be required to have a full bladder beforehand. You may be asked to avoid eating for a few hours before the scan to prevent a full bowel or stomach from casting a shadow over the abdominal organs which restricts imaging. You will be informed and given full instructions beforehand if this is required.

After an ultrasound

After your ultrasound, you will be able to resume your normal activities and your images will be sent to a radiologist for examination.

Access our private tests and scans

Here at Benenden Hospital, we understand that when you’re concerned about your health, you’ll want to know your results as soon as possible. Therefore, we offer a range of diagnostic scans in our specially designed imaging suite and quicker access to diagnosis and treatment. Find out more about our tests and scans this Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month.

To find out more about tests and scans and to discuss having an ultrasound, contact our Private Patient Team via Livechat or on 01580 363158 or complete our online enquiry form.

Published on 03 October 2022