An ultrasound scan, sometimes called a sonogram, is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body. An ultrasound scan can be used to monitor an unborn baby, diagnose a condition, or guide a surgeon during certain procedures.

Preparing for an ultrasound scan:

Before having some types of ultrasound scan, you may be asked to follow certain instructions to help improve the quality of the images produced. For example, you may be advised to:

  • 1. Drink water and not go to the toilet until after the scan – this may be needed before a scan of your unborn baby or your pelvic area.
  • 2. Avoid eating for several hours before the scan – this may be needed before a scan of your digestive system, including the liver and gallbladder.

What happens during an ultrasound scan:

Most ultrasound scans last between 15 and 45 minutes. There are different kinds of ultrasound scans, depending on which part of the body is being scanned and why. The three main types are:

  • 1. External ultrasound scan – the probe is moved over the skin
  • 2. Internal ultrasound scan – the probe is inserted into the body
  • 3. Endoscopic ultrasound scan – the probe is attached to a long, thin, flexible tube and passed further into the body.

After an ultrasound scan:

In most cases, there are no after-effects and you can go home soon after the scan is finished. If a sedative wasn’t used, you can drive, eat, drink and return to your other normal activities straight away. External and internal ultrasound scans don’t have any side effects and are generally painless, although you may experience some discomfort as the probe is pressed over your skin or inserted into your body. Endoscopic ultrasounds can be a bit more uncomfortable and they can cause temporary side effects, such as a sore throat or bloating. There’s also a small risk of more serious complications, such as internal bleeding.

This Service Available City