What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound scan is a safe and painless imaging technique used to produce pictures of the body. A small transducer or probe sends high-frequency sound waves and records the reflected sound or echoes to create images. An ultrasound is performed using ‘real time’ pictures – not still images. Although some of the sound waves are absorbed by your body, there is no warming effect and no known harmful effects.
Ultrasounds are commonly used to image many different areas of the body including the liver, kidneys, pelvis, muscles, joints, and even some arteries and veins within the body.
How should I prepare for an ultrasound?
Depending on the ultrasound you may be asked to fast or drink some water. Upper abdominal scans including liver, gall bladder and pancreas require you to fast for 6 hours beforehand. Kidney, bladder and prostate gland require a full bladder and you will be asked to drink 1 litre of water 1 hour prior to your scan. A full bladder is not required for scrotum and testes scans for men.
There is no preparation for a musculo-skeletal or vascular ultrasound examination. Arterial ultrasounds may need preparation.
Please bring any previous x-rays with you on the day of your examination.
On the day of your appointment
Epworth Medical Imaging’s friendly staff will greet you upon arrival and take your details.
A sonographer will collect you from our waiting room and take you through to the ultrasound room which will be dimly lit. You may be asked to change into a gown and then asked to lay on the ultrasound table. A layer of gel is spread over the area to be examined. The sonographer will then use a small probe or transducer to scan the area of interest and take a series of pictures.
Ultrasounds are non-invasive and do not hurt, however if your bladder is full you may be slightly uncomfortable. If you need to stop during the procedure because you are uncomfortable please tell our sonographer who will assist you in any way they can.
After the examination, the gel is wiped from your skin. The gel is water soluble and easily washes out of your clothes should they be marked.
The time of your examination will depend on the type of scan. Most scans take approximately 30 minutes, while some may take up to one hour and ultrasound of the blood vessels may take up to 1 ½ hours.
Once your ultrasound has been completed, our sonographer will take you back to reception. Our receptionist will give you either hardcopy films or a CD to take with you. The radiologist will produce a report which will be sent directly to your GP or specialist – please contact your GP or specialist in order to discuss results.
Epworth Medical Imaging accepts cash, cheque, EFTFOS, MasterCard and Visa for payment on the day. If you have provided your bank details to Medicare, we can lodge Medicare claims electronically so as your Medicare rebate is direct deposited into your bank account.
Pensioners and healthcare card-holders will be bulked billed for all items covered under the Medicare schedule, although some surgical procedures and scans may incur a cost, as they are not covered under Medicare. Our staff will inform you of costs prior to your examination. Please have your Medicare card ready to present to reception.