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At San Radiology we perform outpatient and inpatient ultrasound examinations.  San Radiology has highly qualified male and female sonographers who perform these examinations, along with our experienced male and female radiologists.  San Radiology has state of the art ultrasound machines providing the latest in ultrasound technology to maximise image quality.  

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound refers to the imaging of body structures using high frequency sound waves.  A computer calculates the strength of the reflected sound waves and produces a two or three-dimensional image.

The basic procedure for an ultrasound is as follows:

  • You will be asked to sit or lie on an examination bed and uncover the area to be scanned
  • You will be asked to change in to a hospital gown
  • The operator (sonographer) will put a gel over the area to be scanned.  The gel allows good contact between the skin and the body
  • The sonographer moves a transducer at different angles over the body to look at the organs, vessels, muscles or tendons underneath.  This is viewed on a television monitor, and still images a recorded
  • During the procedure you may be asked to breathe deeply in or out in order to visualise some organs.  You may also have to move the body to allow good access to see the organs or their movement.  When looking at vessels, you may hear some whooshing sounds as we interrogate the blood flow.  None of this should be painful
  • At the end of the procedure, the gel is wiped off
  • The sonographer will show the images to the radiologist and he/she may come in to view some moving organs for themselves.

Different Types Of Ultrasound

Different ultrasound techniques exist for different conditions. Examples of some of the more common types of ultrasound exams include: 

  • Abdomen – to detect any abnormalities of the abdominal organs (i.e., kidneys, liver, pancreas, gallbladder) such as gallstones or tumours
  • Breast – to examine an irregularity or mass in the breast tissue
  • Echocardiogram – to see the heart and its valves, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the hearts pumping ability
  • Musculoskeletal – to examine any joint or muscle pain for conditions such as a ligament or tendon tear
  • Pelvic – to look at pelvic organs such as uterus, ovaries, prostate, bladder
  • Prostate – to examine any nodules in the prostate felt by a doctor after a physical examination
  • Renal – to examine the kidneys and bladder
  • Scrotal – to further investigate pain or swelling in the testicles
  • Thyroid – examines the thyroid
  • Vascular – to see the vascular system and its function, including detection of blood clots
  • Doppler – to see structures inside the body, while evaluating blood flow at the same time. Doppler ultrasound can determine if there are any problems within the veins and arteries.
  • Obstetric – to monitor the development of the foetus. Obstetric Ultrasound is available through San Ultrasound for Women located on Level 3 at the Sydney Adventist Hospital (near San Radiology). For further enquiries contact San Ultrasound for Women on 02 9487 9800.
  • Ultrasound Guided Biopsies or Aspirations - where a small sample of tissue is taken via a needle and to pathology for assessment

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will the ultrasound examination take?

Your ultrasound examination generally takes approximately 30-90 minutes.  In this time the sonographer will perform your ultrasound by recording images.  At the end of the examination, the sonographer will discuss the exam and review the images with the radiologist.  The radiologist may or may not want to come in to review.

Is there any preparation for my ultrasound examination?

San Radiology will advise you if there is any specific preparation essential for your ultrasound examination.  

For abdominal ultrasounds, which include the gallbladder and liver, you will need to fast for six hours prior to your exam.  This means nil by mouth (nothing to eat or drink).

For Renal or Pelvic ultrasounds, which include pelvic and bladder our booking staff will ask that you drink 1 litre of water 1½ hours before your exam and not pass urine until after your exam as we require you to have a full bladder at the time of your examination.  This does not apply to Renal Dialysis patients; please contact San Radiology bookings for specific preparation instructions.

We ask that at the time of making your booking you confirm with San Radiology your preparation, as preparations need to be considered in view of other medical problems such as diabetes. 

Is ultrasound safe?

Ultrasound has been used as a medical diagnostic tool for nearly 40 years.  It is considered to be quite safe.

How do I make a booking?

We ask that you contact San Radiology bookings to make your booking.  You will be asked what type of examination that you would like to book in for and for some examinations you will be asked to arrive 10-30 minutes prior to your examination for registration and possible preparations. 

Further Information

Please contact San Radiology for more information.

Please bring any relevant films and referral to your appointment.

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