Who is this service for?
Ultrasound scans can be used for lots of different reasons, such as:
Monitoring the growth of your unborn baby, and checking for abnormalities
Diagnosing problems with parts of your body such as your liver, ovaries, testes, kidneys, bladder or breast. It can help determine if an abnormal lump is a solid tumour or a fluid-filled cyst.
Detecting abnormal widening of your blood vessels (aneurysms)
Assisting in surgical procedures, such as biopsies (where a tissue sample is taken for analysis) or steroid injections. We use ultrasound to make sure we’re working in the right area.
Get access to this service
If you need an ultrasound scan, your GP or health professional will make a referral to our service.
How we can help
Ultrasound scans use very high frequency sound that we can’t hear, but can be detected using an ultrasound scanner machine. These sound waves can pass through liquid and soft tissues, but not solid objects.
When the sound wave hits a solid object, it bounces back as an echo. Echoes of different strengths are then reflected in the image, depending on the density of the object.
During the scan you will lie on a couch which we place a small probe on your skin over the part of your body being examined. Lubricating jelly is put on your skin to help ensure the probe makes good contact with your body. Sometimes the probe may be used inside your body, such as in your vagina or rectum.
Depending on what part of your body is being scanned, you may need to prepare in different ways.
For example, if you’re scan involves examining an organ in your pelvic area, you may be asked to fill your bladder by drinking water and not passing urine until after the test. You will be advised in advance of any preparations you need to take.
Trans-rectal ultrasound scan and ultrasound guided steroid injections
Find out more about these types of ultrasound scan and treatment in our patient information leaflets: