Ultrasound scanning uses high frequency sound waves to form an image of whatever part of the body is being scanned. It is a quick out-patient scan that is the first line of investigation for many conditions particularly in the abdomen. It is a very safe method of imaging that does not involve any radiation exposure, hence its use in pregnancy.
When attending for an abdominal scan patients may be asked to fast for a few hours or to fill their bladder depending on the purpose of the scan.
Patients do of course receive full instructions beforehand.
Doppler or duplex ultrasound scanning
Doppler or duplex ultrasound scanning is a form of ultrasound scanning used to examine arteries and veins and is often performed before some of the interventional radiology procedures like angioplasty and stenting.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Ultrasound scanning can be used as a quick screening examination for conditions such asAbdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) and is also the examination of choice for testicular or scrotal swellings.
The radiologist scans the vessel using a small hand-held probe placed on the skin surface using a water-based gel as a contact agent. The images are displayed on a monitor and detailed measurements of the vessel and rate of flow of the blood within it can be made to assess any narrowing or blockage present.
The Benefits of Ultrasound
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves outside the range of human hearing to create images. It is a technique that does not use ionizing radiation and is in routine use for antenatal scans during pregnancy.
The UK is relatively unique compared to the US, Australia, New Zealand and much of Europe in that your scan will be performed by the reporting radiologist.
Ultrasound is a simple test that your GP can refer you for directly to us. Based on the scan findings we will be able to direct onward referral to the appropriate specialist.