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Ultrasound

Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive, painless test that is performed using a smooth hand-held transducer.

Because ultrasound is readily available and cost-effective, it is often the first diagnostic test ordered for abdominal, pelvic and musculoskeletal pain.

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is used extensively during pregnancy, and to assess many organs, superficial parts, as well as the heart and blood vessels. Areas of pain, swelling or infection can be directly assessed in real time. Because ultrasound is readily available and cost-effective, it is often the first diagnostic test ordered for abdominal, pelvic and musculoskeletal pain. It is also used to help guide therapeutic treatments such as cortisone injections.

Why is Ultrasound done?

Areas of pain, swelling or infection can be directly assessed in real-time.

Because ultrasound is readily available and cost-effective, it is often the first diagnostic test ordered for abdominal, pelvic, and musculoskeletal pain.

About Your Test

Before your appointment

You will need a referral from your doctor to make an appointment.

Upon receiving your referral, our Bookings Team will be able to help assist you in finding a time that works for you to have your test done.

Read all the instructions given to you by your doctor or provided by us, as you may be required to fast depending on the type of imaging. 

We advise arriving 10 minutes prior to your appointment time to ensure all preliminary paperwork can be completed.

Please bring any previous, relevant examinations for comparison. If you have diabetes, or you are on any medication, please contact us to check special preparation instructions, and our staff will advise of any specific preparation. 

 

On the day

Wear clothing that will provide easy access to the area requiring imaging.

During the examination a water-based gel will be applied to the skin over the area to be scanned to improve the transmission of sound waves between the body and the ultrasound transducer. To get the best possible images the sonographer may ask you to hold your breath or move your position so the best images can be obtained.

On occasion, a radiologist may need to speak with you and perform some ultrasound scanning as well, in order to clarify what has been shown in the images and ensure the question asked by your referring doctor is answered accurately.

 

After your appointment

After your scan you can go about your day as normal.

Your images will be looked over by our Radiologists and a secure report and copy of the images will be provided to your referring practitioner.

Our specialist Radiologists will interpret the ultrasound and provide your referring doctor with a comprehensive report about the findings. It is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on the area being examined during your ultrasound there will be different preparations.

Abdomen

  • Please do not eat or drink for hours prior to your appointment (nil by mouth)
  • Sips of water with medication are allowed

Renal/Bladder/Prostate

  • Preferably a 4 hour fast
  • Please empty your bladder 90 minutes prior to your scan
  • Drink 1 litre of water-based fluid in the first 30 minutes so you arrive with a full bladder
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable, you may partially empty the bladder trying to retain as much urine as possible
  • If your bladder is not sufficiently full, this may delay the scan or result in rescheduling the appointment

Pelvis

  • Please empty your bladder 90 minutes prior to your scan
  • Drink 1 litre of water-based fluid in the first 30 minutes so you arrive with a full bladder
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable, you may partially empty the bladder trying to retain as much urine as possible
  • If your bladder is not sufficiently full, this may delay the scan or result in rescheduling the appointment

Pregnancy

  • Please note that all accompanying children must be supervised by an adult and due to the medical nature of this examination, the Sonographer may need time with just the patient to complete the scan

Early pregnancy

  • Please empty your bladder 90 minutes prior to your scan
  • Drink 1 litre of water-based fluid in the first 30 minutes so you arrive with a full bladder
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable, you may partially empty the bladder trying to retain as much urine as possible
  • If your bladder is not sufficiently full, this may delay the scan or result in rescheduling the appointment

First Trimester Screening – Nuchal Translucency Scan (12w 4d – 13w 6d)

  • Please empty your bladder 90 minutes prior to your scan
  • Drink 1 litre of water-based fluid in the first 30 minutes so you arrive with a full bladder
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable, you may partially empty the bladder trying to retain as much urine as possible
  • If your bladder is not sufficiently full, this may delay the scan or result in rescheduling the appointment
  • Please ensure that all blood tests are performed 7 days prior to the appointment so results are not delayed

12-16 Week Scan

  • Please empty your bladder 90 minutes prior to your scan
  • Drink 1 litre of water-based fluid in the first 30 minutes so you arrive with a full bladder
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable, you may partially empty the bladder trying to retain as much urine as possible
  • If your bladder is not sufficiently full, this may delay the scan or result in rescheduling the appointment

18-20 Week Morphology Scan

  • Please empty your bladder 90 minutes prior to your scan
  • Drink 1 litre of water-based fluid in the first 30 minutes so you arrive with a full bladder
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable, you may partially empty the bladder trying to retain as much urine as possible
  • If your bladder is not sufficiently full, this may delay the scan or result in rescheduling the appointment

24-40 Week Scan

  • Please empty your bladder 60 minutes prior to your scan
  • Drink 500-750 ml of water-based fluid in the first 30 minutes so you arrive with a full bladder
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable, you may partially empty the bladder trying to retain as much urine as possible
  • If your bladder is not sufficiently full, this may delay the scan or result in rescheduling the appointment

Echocardiography

  • No preparation required

Carotids/ Limb Veins/ Limb Arteries

  • No preparation required

Musculoskeletal/ Thyroid/ Testes/ Breast

  • No preparation required

Ultrasound is a safe examination which provides excellent imaging without any known risks. At Sunshine Coast Radiology, these scans are performed by Accredited Medical Sonographers who have undergone tertiary university studies.

Not all causes of pain are seen on ultrasound, so further testing may be required. Ultrasound does not involve ionising radiation, making it ideal for pregnant women, their babies, and children. The sonographer will set the equipment to the lowest intensity necessary to achieve high quality images. The results of your scan will be sent directly to your referring Doctor, and it is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results.

During the examination a water-based gel will be applied to the skin over the area to be scanned to improve the transmission of sound waves between the body and the ultrasound transducer. To get the best possible images the sonographer may ask you to hold your breath or move your position so the best images can be obtained.

On occasion, a radiologist may need to speak with you and perform some ultrasound scanning as well, in order to clarify what has been shown in the images and ensure the question asked by your referring doctor is answered accurately.

Prior to your scan and to ensure optimal imaging, you may be asked to change into a gown. A change cubicle will be provided to ensure your privacy and you will be asked to bring your belongings will you, carry baskets are provided. You will be asked to place your belongings in a suitable location within the room for the duration of your scan. After your scan, you will be provided with a change cubicle to ensure your privacy. Please ensure you have all your belongings with you prior to leaving the department. If you accidentally leave anything behind, please contact our staff to advise and we will endeavour to locate your belongings and return them to you.

The entire procedure takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, although real scanning time is only 2-3 minutes.

A Radiologist (a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images for the purposes of providing a diagnosis) will review your images and provide a formal written report to your GP or Specialist. If medically urgent, or you have an appointment immediately after the scan to be seen by your GP or health care provider, Sunshine Coast Radiology will have your results ready on the day. Otherwise, the report will be received by your GP or health care provider within the next 24 hours. You will receive your images at the end of your examination. Please remember to make a follow-up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your results.

Our friendly reception staff will advise you on the cost of your procedure at the time of your booking. If your exam is Medicare eligible, you will be bulk billed.