Ultrasound is a safe and widely used sound wave scan that produces pictures of the inside of your body to help doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions.
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound scan, also known as a sonogram, uses high-frequency sound waves to generate an image of the inside of your body. It is a safe, non-invasive and painless procedure that does not use ionising radiation.
Traditional ultrasound shows the images in thin, flat sections of your body. Three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound formats the sound wave data into 3-D images.
What can an ultrasound detect and be used for?
An ultrasound can show the structure and movement of your body's internal organs. It can detect problems in these organs including your liver, heart, kidney, and abdomen and is used to help diagnose the causes of pain, swelling and infection in these areas.
It can also be used to monitor the development of an unborn baby and check the progress of a pregnancy. An infant’s brain and hips can be examined using ultrasound.
An ultrasound scan can assist surgeons by helping guide biopsies during certain procedures.
Doppler ultrasound can monitor how fast your blood is flowing in your blood vessels and help detect blood clots or narrowed blood vessels. An ultrasound of the heart is called an echocardiogram and can diagnose heart conditions and evaluate the damage after a heart attack.
A transvaginal ultrasound is an internal ultrasound scan that checks for gynaecological problems and can look at your womb, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
How is an ultrasound done?
An ultrasound scan is performed by a specialist healthcare professional called a sonographer or radiologist who holds a hand-held device, called a transducer, onto your skin after applying gel.
High-frequency sound waves travel from the transducer through the gel into your body. The ultrasound travels through soft tissue and fluids and it bounces back, or echoes, from denser surfaces. The sounds that bounce back are collected by the transducer and sent to a computer that uses the sound waves to create real-time images. These images are constantly updated so the ultrasound scan can show movement.
Your sonographer may talk you through the results of your ultrasound or the ultrasound images may be interpreted by a consultant radiologist or referring specialist.
How long does an ultrasound take?
Most ultrasound scans take around twenty minutes. An internal ultrasound may take up to 45 minutes. An ultrasound scan usually takes place in a hospital radiology department as a walk-in walk-out procedure.
What is the cost of an ultrasound test?
The cost of an ultrasound test will depend on the type of ultrasound you require, how many areas need scanning and your Ramsay hospital of choice.
You will receive a formal quotation price when booking your ultrasound with us. This formal quote for your ultrasound scan will be valid for 60 days.
Most diagnostic scans are covered by medical insurance policies. Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. We advise you to check with your insurance provider and obtain their written authorisation before booking your ultrasound scan.
Ultrasound at Ramsay Health Care
Ramsay Health Care offers easy access to flexible appointments to suit you without waiting. Patients choose to come to us for a private ultrasound scan when they have a GP referral and want a fast diagnosis of their health condition with a choice of date and time for their scan, or they may prefer to skip the wait for a GP appointment and self-refer for a private diagnostic ultrasound.
When visiting a Ramsay hospital of your choice, you will benefit from the latest ultrasound systems, operated by highly knowledgeable and trained professionals who are skilled in performing and reporting on ultrasound procedures. If treatment is required following your diagnosis you can rest assured, we have onsite professionals and resources to support your ongoing healthcare needs.
We have excellent infection prevention with strict protocols in place to keep you safe during your visit to us.