Ultrasound Service Patient Information Leaflet www.horizonhealth

Ultrasound Service
Patient Information Leaflet
What is an ultrasound scan?
An ultrasound scan is a picture of the inside of the body using high frequency sound waves
which cannot be heard by the human ear.
A harmless gel is placed across the skin surface to be examined by the sonographer who will
be undertaking the scan. The ultrasound image is obtained by the sonographer carefully
pressing a small hand-held probe against the skin surface so that sound waves are
generated. Any echoes reflected from the tissues within the body are detected. The images
that are produced are displayed on a screen and recorded for subsequent study.
Are there any known risks or side-effects?
There are no known risks or side effects and ultrasound scans are considered to be very safe
as they use sound waves of a harmless frequency. There are no side-effects from your scan
and you can carry on with everyday life as normal immediately afterwards. You may drive
and return home or to work immediately afterwards and may eat and drink normally.
Why am I having it?
Your doctor believes that an ultrasound is the most appropriate examination for someone
with your particular symptoms. The results of the scan will assist your doctor in making a
diagnosis of your problem and determining the treatment options.
Will it be uncomfortable?
An ultrasound scan itself does not produce discomfort and apart from the sensor on your skin
you will not feel anything. If you have been asked to attend with a full bladder, this can
sometimes be uncomfortable.Occasionally,it may be necessary to apply some pressure
to the skin surface over an inflamed organ, for example the gallbladder, to check what is
causing the pain. This may increase the amount of pain coming from that organ temporarily.
Can I bring a relative/friend?
Yes. However, it may not be suitable for them to remain in the examination room if you
undergo an intimate examination.
Do I have to do anything before having the ultrasound scan?
Abdominal ultrasound ( liver, spleen, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, abdominal aorta,
biliary system) – do not eat or drink eight hours before the examination. Take any
regular medication that you are on with a small sip of water. If you are a diabetic and
are on insulin please take this as normal.
Pelvic ultrasound (uterus, ovaries,fallopian tubes, urinary bladder) – eat normally. Drink
half to one litre of water one hour before your examination. Do not empty your bladder
before the examination.
Bladder ultrasound – eat normally. Drink half to one litre of water one hour before your
Thyroid, testicular and musculoskeletal ultrasounds – no preparations are required.
Who will be doing the ultrasound scan?
The examination will be performed by a qualified sonographer.
What happens during the scan?
The sonographer will greet you and take you to an examination room. You will be asked to
lie down on a couch and the light may be dimmed so that the images on the screen can be
seen more clearly. Depending on the type of scan you are having, you may need to remove
some of your clothing. Most examinations take 10-15 minutes.
A gel will be applied to the skin over the area to be scanned. You may be asked to take
deep breaths and to hold your breath for a few moments.
The sonographer will move the sensor over your skin while viewing the images on the screen.
Records of selected images will be made so that they can be viewed later. Upon completion,
the gel will be wiped off and you will be free to leave.
When will the results be sent to my doctor?
The scan will be examined by the sonographer after your visit. A report on the findings will
be sent to your doctor within five working days.
How do I cancel or change my appointment
Please contact our central administration office on 01234 897440 (Monday to Friday 8.00am
to 8.00pm)to cancel and/or rearrange your appointment.
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.
Information will only be shared with people who have a genuine need for it (e.g. your GP or
other professionals from whom you have been receiving care), or if the law required it.
However, please be assured that anyone who receives information from us is also under a
legal duty to keep it confidential. Horizon Health Choices Ltd treats its patients with dignity
and respect.
Concerns and Queries
If you have any concerns/queries about this service offered by Horizon Health Choices
Ltd, please speak to the administration staff who will try and help you and give you
information on our complaints procedures should you require it.