Diagnostic Ultrasound

The Best Care

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a type of sound waves that are transmitted into the body. The echoes that are received by the machine are used to recreate a 2 dimensional or 3-dimensional images on the screen. These images are a useful way to examine many parts of the body.

During ultrasound imaging there is no exposure to radiation, and no known harmful effects to patient or fetus.  Therefore, your physician may refer you for a range of examinations as ultrasound may be beneficial in many scenarios.

What Happens During an Ultrasound?

Before you have the examination, the sonographer (technologist), will ask you questions about why you have come for the ultrasound scan. They will then explain the procedure you are having in detail and answer any questions you may have.

You are normally asked to lie down on a bed, and the area to be examined is exposed while the rest of the body is covered. Clear gel is applied to the area of your body which is being imaged. The sonographer will then place the “transducer” (a smooth hand-held device) onto this area using gentle pressure. The transducer is moved across the area with a sliding and rotating action to allow the image to project onto the screen. The sonographer takes still photographs from the moving images on the screen.

During the examination, you may be asked to perform some simple movements to improve the quality of the imaging such as taking deep breaths and rolling over.  However, if at any time you are uncomfortable please inform the technologist.

Types of Ultrasound Exams

General Ultrasound
A general ultrasound images the body’s internal organs. It is most commonly used to assess the abdomen, pelvis, urinary system, genital organs and glands including thyroid.

Vascular (Veins) Ultrasound
A vascular ultrasound assesses the blood flow in veins to detect blockages, clots, and other conditions.

Obstetrical Ultrasound
An obstetrical ultrasound determines the presence of an embryo and examines the fetus to assess growth and well-being.

Breast Ultrasound
A breast ultrasound assesses for any abnormalities in the breast tissue and surrounding lymph nodes.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
This type of ultrasound looks at muscles and joints throughout the body.

Cardiac Ultrasound
Cardiac ultrasound is commonly referred to as an echocardiogram. Heart valves, chambers, and walls are examined using Doppler ultrasound to assess heart structure and function.


How Do I Prepare?

Abdominal
Have nothing to eat or drink for at least 8 hours prior to your examination (this includes no smoking, no lozenges, no gum).

Pelvic Ultrasound (and Early Pregnancy)
Drink 1L (4 cups) of water 1.5 hours prior to appointment time. (If the patient is under 80 lbs please only drink 2 glasses) Finish your water 1 hour before your appointment.  DO NOT empty bladder until after the examination.

Abdominal & Pelvis, or Kidneys & Bladder
Have nothing to eat or drink for at least 8 hours prior to your examination (this includes no smoking, no lozenges, no gum).  
You do also need a full bladder so Drink 1L (4 cups) of water 1.5 hours prior to appointment time. (If the patient is under 80 lbs please only drink 2 glasses).
Finish your water 1 hour before your appointment.  DO NOT empty bladder until after the examination.

Biophysical Profile or Pregnancy 28 Weeks & Over
Drink 500ml (2 cups) of water 1.5 hours prior to appointment time. Finish your water 1 hour before your appointment.  DO NOT empty bladder until after the examination.  Eat regular meals.

Abdomen or Pyloris (under 2 years of age): Do your best to have the baby have nothing to eat or drink for 3 hours before the exam.  Bring a bottle (as needed) for the baby for after the exam. 


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