What happens during an ultrasound scan?
You will be taken into a room, often with dimmed lighting so that the sonographer can see the screen in optimum light, and asked to lie down on a bed or examination table. You may be asked to undress beforehand and put on a gown. The area of the skin directly over the part of the body that needs to be examined will be moistened with a special lubricant gel or oily fluid. The rounded head of the ultrasound sensor is then passed slowly across the relevant part of the skin, but you will not feel or hear anything. The sonographer will then be able to look at and assess live pictures of your internal organs instantly on the screen. After ten or fifteen minutes your skin will be wiped dry and you will be able to get up immediately.
Preparations needed prior to an ultrasound scan
Quite often there is no preparation required before having an ultrasound scan, but occasionally you will be asked either to make sure you have a full bladder, or an empty one! Follow the instructions you have been given so the sonographer will have the best views of the area to be examined. Different parts of the body may require different volumes of bladder fullness.
What are the risks of an ultrasound scan?
Ultrasound scans are thought to be completely safe, and there are no known risks associated with the procedure.