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AVAILABLE AT BOTH CLINICS

195 Ponsonby Rd

Monday: 8 am - 2 pm

Tuesday: By appointment

Wednesday: 8 am - 2 pm

Thursday: 11 am - 2 pm

Friday: 10 am - 2 pm

582 Karangahape Rd

Monday: 9 am - 5 pm

Tuesday: 9 am - 5 pm

Wednesday: 9 am - 5 pm

Thursday 9 am - 5 pm

Friday: 9 am - 5 pm

Appointments are available outside of these hours by arrangement.

Ultrasound Imaging

Ultrasound is the term used for high frequency soundwaves. An ultrasound examination uses these sound waves to produce an image onto a screen that shows the inside of your body.

What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound examination is performed using a smooth, hand held device called a transducer (camera) that is move across the body with a sliding and rotating action. The transducer transmits the high-frequency sound waves into your body. The sound waves are then reflected from the different tissues in different ways. The sound waves are converted to electrical impulses, which are used to produce a moving image onto the screen.

Why would my doctor refer me for an ultrasound?

An ultrasound examination is often used in medical care during pregnancy and childbirth. It is an ideal examination to look at the baby as it grows throughout the various stages of pregnancy, and is a wonderful opportunity to meet your forming baby.

Ultrasound can take high quality pictures or images of most parts of your body, which makes it an excellent diagnostic test. For example, it is used to examine abdominal and other organs, to watch blood flow in any of the arteries or veins throughout the various parts of your body, and to evaluate the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones and joints related).

Ultrasound examinations are used to evaluate many superficial structures in your body such as breast, and in children special areas such as newborn hips, spine and brain.

How do I prepare for a ultrasound?

Read any instructions given to you by your doctor, or provided by us
Wear clothing that will provide easy access to the area that is being imaged
Bring any previous ultrasound examination films with you, for comparison.

IMPORTANT: If you have diabetes, or you are on any medications prescribed by your doctor, or any other medication including any over the counter medicines or complementary therapies such as vitamins, etc., contact us to check special preparation instructions.

Preparation depends on the type of ultrasound examination you are having. The following is a guide for the most common examinations, it may vary slightly depending on the clinic you attend but we will confirm details when you make your appointment.

Gallbladder or upper abdomen

Please prepare as follows;

  • Nothing to eat 6 hours prior to your scan and only water to drink. If you are diabetic, please consult with your Doctor.
  • Continue taking your medication as normal.

Renal, kidney, bladder, prostate, lower abdomen, female pelvis, gynae, or dating pregnancy scans

Please prepare as follows;

  • Please arrive to your scan with a full bladder. Empty your bladder one hour prior then drink 3-4 glasses of water,
  • If your bladder is not full ten minutes prior to your examination, please drink more water. If you are uncomfortably full you may let some out.

Abdomen or pelvis

Please prepare as follows;

  • Nothing to eat 6 hours prior to your scan and only water to drink. If you are diabetic, please consult with your Doctor.
  • Continue taking your medication as normal.
  • Please arrive to your scan with a full bladder. Empty your bladder one hour prior then drink 3-4 glasses of water,
  • If your bladder is not full ten minutes prior to your examination, please drink more water. If you are uncomfortably full you may let some out.

Other examination areas

For all other areas, no preparation required.

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 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. If your examination is in the pelvic or abdomen area, you will be given a sheet to cover yourself with to maintain your privacy. You will be asked to move the sheet aside to allow the sonographer to carry out the examination. Clear gel is applied to the area of your body which is being imaged. The sonographer will then place the transducer (camera) 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. These movements you will be asked to perform will be simple, for example:

  • ‘Taking a bigger breath’ to assist during an abdominal ultrasound and allow the areas underneath the rib cage to be clearly viewed
  • During an obstetric examination you may be asked to roll around to encourage the foetus or unborn baby to roll into a position appropriate for imaging
  • In musculoskeletal ultrasound, the transducer moving over any painful areas often provides valuable insights into the true source of the pain

However, if any of these movements cause you concern or discomfort, you should let the sonographer know immediately.

How long does an ultrasound take?

Typically, an ultrasound examination will take about 30 minutes. However, some examinations, may take longer than this because of the detailed imaging that is required and the number and size of the organ/s being examined. Ask us when making your appointment how long the type of ultrasound you are having normally takes.

What are the benefits of ultrasound?

Ultrasound provides excellent imaging of the soft tissues of the human body and is often the best and most appropriate diagnostic test.

It is a safe procedure which does not have the risks associated with imaging that uses radiation. There are no proven harmful effects of sound waves at the levels used in ultrasound performed in our clinics.

Ultrasound can be performed with patient movement so is ideal for imaging babies and children. Imaging movement is also very valuable in musculoskeletal (muscles, bones and joints related), gynaecological (women’s health, especially of the reproductive organs) and vascular (blood vessel related) ultrasound. Dynamic imaging (moving pictures) provided by images using ultrasound sound waves gives the opportunity for looking at the inside of the body in positions or with movements where there is pain or movement restriction.

Ultrasound does not require an injection of contrast medium (a small amount of material used with some X-ray scanning to detect certain types of diseases or problems in the body). Ultrasound is mostly non-invasive, provides accurate imaging tests of the human body, is readily available and relatively inexpensive.

Who does an ultrasound?

The ultrasound examination is performed by a sonographer, a health professional specialised in performing ultrasound examinations. They have a graduate qualification and are fully qualified to perform the examination.

The sonographer performs the examination and provides an interpretation of the images on the screen to a radiologist (medical specialist), who will review the sonographer’s interpretation and discuss the images with them, before providing a report on the findings to your doctor.

What are the risks of an ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a safe examination which provides excellent imaging without any significant risk.

Are there any after effects of an ultrasound?

It is rare to have after effects from an ultrasound examination.

How do I get my results?

Your doctor will receive a written report on your test as soon as is practicable. It is very important that you discuss the results with the doctor whom referred you so that they can explain what the results mean for you.

Quick. Effective. Precise Medical scans

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