Ultrasound.

The information below is intended for patients preparing for an Ultrasound examination at Melbourne Radiology Clinic.
Ultrasound is a type of scan that uses inaudible high frequency sound waves to create detailed pictures of the body. It is a safe, painless and radiation free examination that has been used in medicine for well over 50 years.

Fact Sheets | Diagnostic Imaging 

Ultrasound.

Introduction

Ultrasound is a type of scan that uses inaudible high frequency sound waves to create detailed pictures of the body. It is a safe, painless and radiation free examination.

Ultrasound images can be taken during motion, so both still images and video images may be produced. The type of image provided to your doctor will depend upon what is requested, your individual circumstances and the preference of our doctor.

Ultrasound - MSK ultrasound of the shoulder
MSK ultrasound of the shoulder

Preparation

Ultrasound examinations of the different body parts may require special preparation, such as fasting or drinking water.

Please take the time to read the summary of instructions below for the type of ultrasound examination you are to have. Our receptionist will provide you with the necessary instructions when you book your appointment and also answer any queries that you may have.

Summary of Ultrasound Examinations
and Preparation Required

Procedure

Upon arrival at Melbourne Radiology Clinic, you will be taken to a change room. You will be requested to remove relevant clothing and jewellery and to wear the provided examination gown. The area to be examined will need to be exposed but the rest of you will be covered.

Procedures can take up to 1 hour to conduct with the average time being 20-30 minutes and will be discussed with you at the time of booking.

You will be asked to lie on a couch or sit on a chair (depending on the examination) next to the ultrasound equipment. A university-trained sonographer who is accredited with the Australian Sonographer Accreditation Registry (ASAR). captures and prints the requested images using a probe (also known as a transducer) which emits the ultrasound waves.

A water-based gel will be spread on the skin of the area being scanned which assists in the transmission of sound waves between the body and probe. The soundwaves are then reflected by the tissues in your body back to the probe. This information is then used to form an image that is used to obtain a diagnosis. You may be required to hold your breath or move into different positions so that the best images can be obtained.

Ultrasound waves cannot penetrate gas and bone. As such, ultrasound cannot be used to look beyond the soft tissue surrounding joints, into the lungs or gas containing bowel loops, however can obtain adequate images of solid organs such as the liver and uterus, as well as fluid filled organs such as the gall bladder.

Female Pelvic Ultrasound

The preparation requirements for female pelvic ultrasounds vary according to age, stage of pregnancy or type of condition requiring investigation.

  • Women who are not pregnant and attending for a pelvic gynaecological scan need to have a full bladder, as do pregnant women in the first trimester (first three months).
  • Pregnant women at 18-20 weeks and beyond require no preparation.
  • If you know that you are pregnant with twins, please let us know so that additional time may be allocated.

In addition, an internal or transvaginal examination may be requested by the referring doctor or required at the time of the examination for a closer view of pelvic organs, in particular the ovaries and endometrium (lining of the uterus). Even though an internal scan may be recommended, you naturally have a choice to refuse.

Results &
Follow-Up

Your Images and Report

One of Melbourne Radiology Clinic’s specialist radiologists, a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images for the purposes of providing a diagnosis, will then review the images and provide a formal written report. If medically urgent, or you have an appointment immediately after the scan to be seen by your doctor or health care provider, Melbourne Radiology Clinic will have your results ready without delay. Otherwise, the report will be received by your doctor or health care provider within the next 24 hours.

Follow-up Appointment

Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your results.

Your referring doctor or health care provider is the most appropriate person to explain to you the results of the scans and for this reason, we do not release the results directly to you.

Reminders

Previous Scans & Reports

Please bring to the clinic any prior scans (eg. X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI, CT) and reports as these will assist our radiologist in assessing your condition.

Any Referral Request Accepted

Please note that any referral for a scan is valid at Melbourne Radiology Clinic, even if it has been written or printed on a referral form or stationery supplied by another radiology provider.

If you have any further queries about your appointment please call Melbourne Radiology Clinic on (03) 9667 1667  – we are always only too happy to help.

Appointment Time

Whilst every effort is made to keep your appointment time, the special needs of complex cases, elderly and frail patients can cause unexpected delays. Your consideration and patience in these circumstances is appreciated.

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