An ultrasound is an imaging method that is widely used to produce real-time images of the body using sound waves. An ultrasound scan is performed by placing a hand-held device called a transducer on the skin over the area of interest, together with a clear gel that helps the sound transmission. An ultrasound scan does not involve radiation and is generally painless and non-invasive.

Ultrasound has many uses and is most commonly used in obstetrics and Gynaecology.


Preparation for an ultrasound scan will depend on the body part that is being scanned. We will advise you of any necessary preparation prior to your scan. The following is a summary of general preparations required for specific scans:
  • Obstetric, Pelvic, Renal A full bladder is required. Drink 1 litre of water, finishing at least 1 hour before your appointment. Do not empty your bladder prior to the appointment.
  • Upper Abdominal Ultrasound Do not eat or drink 6 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Vascular Ultrasound, Thyroid Gland, Soft Tissues No preparation required.


Ultrasound scans may take between 20-30 minutes. Some examinations may take longer, such as obstetric scans or vascular studies.