Ultrasound is a safe and widely used scan that produces pictures of the inside of your body, using high frequency sounds waves, to help doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Ultrasound at Ramsay Health Care

Ramsay Health Care offers easy access to flexible appointments to suit you without waiting. Patients choose to come to us for a private ultrasound scan when they have a GP referral and want a fast diagnosis of their health condition with a choice of date and time for their scan.

When visiting a Ramsay hospital of your choice, you will benefit from the latest ultrasound systems, operated by highly knowledgeable and trained professionals who are skilled in performing and reporting on ultrasound procedures. If treatment is required following your diagnosis you can rest assured, we have onsite professionals and resources to support your ongoing healthcare needs.

We have excellent infection prevention with strict protocols in place to keep you safe during your visit to us.

What is an ultrasound?

An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves, above the audible range of the human ear, to generate an image of the inside of your body. It is a safe, non-invasive and painless procedure that does not use ionising radiation.

What can Ultrasound be used for?

An ultrasound can show the structure and movement of your body's internal organs that cannot usually be demonstrated well on X-Rays. It can detect and assess  your liver, heart, kidney, and abdomen and is used to help diagnose the causes of pain, swelling and infection in these areas.

Ultrasound can also be used to monitor the development of an unborn baby and check the progress of a pregnancy. We are sorry, but Ramsay Health do not provide pregnancy-related (antenatal) ultrasounds.

An ultrasound scan can assist surgeons by helping guide biopsies during certain procedures.

Doppler ultrasound can monitor how fast your blood is flowing in your blood vessels and help detect blood clots or narrowed blood vessels. 

An ultrasound of the heart is called an echocardiogram and can diagnose heart conditions and evaluate the damage after a heart attack.

A transvaginal ultrasound is an internal ultrasound scan that checks for gynaecological problems and can look at your womb, ovaries and fallopian tubes.

An MRI scan provides more detailed images of the inside of your body when compared to an ultrasound scan. However, MRI scans take longer, are more expensive and require lying down in an MRI machine, which some people find claustrophobic.

How is an ultrasound scan performed?

An ultrasound scan is performed by specialist healthcare professionals called Sonographers or Radiologists.

The scan is performed using a hand-held device, called a transducer, placed onto your skin after applying a lubricating gel. The gel helps the ultrasound transducer remain in contact with your body as it is moved across it.

High-frequency sound waves travel from the transducer through the gel into your body. The ultrasound travels through soft tissue and fluids and it bounces back, or echoes, from denser surfaces. The sounds that bounce back are collected by the transducer and sent to a computer that uses the sound waves to create real-time images. These images are constantly updated so the ultrasound scan can show movement.

Your sonographer/radiologist may be able to talk you through the results of your ultrasound during your scan appointment. However, the ultrasound images may need to be further interpreted by a consultant radiologist or referring specialist and the report will be sent back to the doctor who requested the scan.

How long does an ultrasound take?

Most ultrasound scans take around twenty minutes. An internal ultrasound may take up to 45 minutes. An ultrasound scan usually takes place in a hospital radiology department as an outpatient procedure.

What preparation do I need for an ultrasound scan?

Before having some types of ultrasound scan, you may be asked to follow certain instructions to help improve the quality of the images produced. Your appointment letter will provide all the relevant instructions.

For example, you may be advised to:

  • drink water and not go to the toilet under after the scan - this may be needed before a scan of your pelvic area or if we are looking at your urinary system (Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder)
  • avoid eating for several hours before the scan - this may be needed before a scan of your digestive system, including the liver and gallbladder

Depending on the area of your body being examined, the hospital may ask you to remove some clothing and wear a hospital gown.

What is the cost of an ultrasound test?

The cost of an ultrasound test will depend on the type of ultrasound you require, how many areas need scanning and your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price when booking your ultrasound with us. This formal quote for your ultrasound scan will be valid for 60 days.

Most diagnostic scans are covered by medical insurance policies. Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. We advise you to check with your insurance provider and obtain their written authorisation before booking your ultrasound scan.

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