What To Expect When You Get An Ultrasound
If you have an upcoming private ultrasound scan scheduled, you might have some questions regarding what to expect during your visit. While we typically associate an ultrasound scan with pregnancies, a private GP might request one for a wide range of other medical conditions including gastrointestinal issues or to take a look at a patient’s organs during cancer treatment.
A private ultrasound scan is a safe, painless procedure which involves the use of sound waves to look at our internal organs. It is sometimes called a sonogram, but the procedure and results are the same. Preparation for an ultrasound at a private clinic typically depends on the reason for the test, but is still fairly simple and straightforward. If you follow your private GP instructions, your private ultrasound scan should be quick and effective.
Preparation For An Ultrasound Scan
A private ultrasound scan for most body parts does not require any preparation. However, if you are getting an ultrasound of your abdomen, including your liver, gallbladder, spleen, or pancreas, you will need to take some specific steps. These include:
- Don’t eat gas-producing foods for 24 hours before your ultrasound.
- Don’t eat or drink anything six hours before the ultrasound. Small sips of water are OK.
- If you need to take oral medicine, swallow with a small amount of water.
If you’re having a pelvic ultrasound, make sure you have a full bladder before the test. Drink enough liquid and don’t urinate before the scan.
These instructions are important for your doctor to get the images needed to provide a proper diagnosis. If the scan doesn’t provide clear enough images, you may have to reschedule or repeat the ultrasound.
What Happens During An Ultrasound?
Although the ultrasound itself doesn’t typically take long, you may be at the private clinic for a couple of hours. The ultrasound technologist will ask you to lie down on an exam table and they will apply a gel to the skin of the area being examined. The gel makes sure there is no air between the ultrasound probe and the skin, making the images clearer. The probe, or transducer, is a device which uses sound waves to create images, which are then displayed on a screen.
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