An ultrasound scan is a noninvasive &painless test that uses sound waves to create images of organs and structures inside your body. It is a very commonly used test. As it uses sound waves and not radiation, it is completely harmless.


You lie on a couch and an operator places a probe on your skin over the part of your body to be examined. The probe is a bit like a very thick blunt pen. Lubricating jelly is put on your skin so that the probe makes good contact with your body. The probe is connected by a wire to the ultrasound machine, which is linked to a monitor. Pulses of ultrasound are sent from the probe through the skin into your body. The ultrasound waves then echo ('bounce back') from the various structures in the body. The echoes are detected by the probe and are sent down the wire to the ultrasound machine. They are displayed as a picture on the monitor. The picture is constantly updated so the scan can show movement as well as structure. For example, the valves of a heart opening and closing during a scan of the heart. The operator moves the probe around over the surface of the skin to get views from different angles. The scan is painless and takes about 15-45 minutes, depending on which parts of the body are being examined.

Ultrasound is beneficial to -
  • Help to monitor the growth of an unborn child, and check for abnormalities. An ultrasound scan is routine for pregnant women.
  • Detect abnormalities of heart structures such as the heart valves. (An ultrasound scan of the heart is called an echocardiogram.)
  • Help to diagnose problems of the liver, gallbladder (such as gallstones), pancreas, thyroid gland, lymph nodes, ovaries, testes, kidneys, bladder and breast. For example, it can help to determine if an abnormal lump in one of these organs is a solid tumour or a fluid-filled cyst.
  • Detect abnormal widening of blood vessels (aneurysms).

Instructions to patients

  • Call personally or telephonically for appointment.

  • Continue medication as per your doctor's advice.

  • Bring all your previous medical records, investigations reports.

  • Pelvic Sonogram: Drink five (5) cups of water one hour prior to exam. Do not urinate.

  • Trans-vaginal Sonogram: No preparation necessary.

  • Obstetric Sonogram (under 20 weeks): Drink five (5) cups of water one hour prior to exam. Do not urinate.

  • Abdominal and gallbladder Sonogram: NPO (nothing by mouth) for AT

  • LEAST three (3) hrs. Prior to exam.

  • Pediatric (younger than 12 years): NPO (nothing by mouth) for two (2) hours.

  • Prior to exam, unless in emergency, indicated by ordering physician.

  • Thyroid and others: no preparation necessary