Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions that Ultrasound Hawke's Bay get from our customers for ultrasounds. We also have some information for patients before you come for a scan to help you get ready for your scan.

What is ultrasound used for?

Ultrasound involves the use of sound waves to produce images inside the body and because it is in real-time, can be used to view movement as well as anatomical structures.

Ultrasound is used to examine pregnancies as well as internal organs such as the kidneys, pancreas, liver, testes, ovaries and the thyroid gland. It can also help diagnose issues with soft tissues, tendons, muscles, and blood vessels. The images produced during the scan are analysed by the Sonographer, then reported on by the Radiologist with the final report being sent to the requesting doctor.

What is a Doppler ultrasound?

Doppler ultrasound is used to measure blood flow and reveal any obstructions.

How long will it take?

Most scans take between 15-40 minutes. Timing is dependent on the area being scanned.

Is it painful?

For an external ultrasound, this is usually painless. If you are required to have a full bladder during your scan, there may be discomfort. There may also be some discomfort during an internal scan.

How should I prepare for my scan?

For most scans loose fitting clothing would be ideal.

Obstetrics / pelvis / renal ultrasounds
You will need a full bladder. Drink two to four large glasses of water one hour prior to your appointment. Do not empty your bladder.

Abdominal / liver / gallbladder ultrasound
Please do not eat, drink, smoke or chew for six hours before your scan. You can take your medication as usual with a little water.

What to bring with you
Please bring your referral form, all previous images and reports if you have them (e.g. ultrasound, X-ray, CT or MRI), and your growth chart for pregnancy scans (if available).

Please note
As this is a medical procedure, our policy is no more than two support people or whānau attending per scan (children must be supervised). Please do not bring recording devices or cameras into the room and ensure mobile phones are switched off. Your co-operation is appreciated.

What does the procedure involve?

For an external ultrasound, the sonographer puts a gel onto the patient’s skin and places the transducer onto the skin. The transducer is moved over the part of the body that needs to be examined. Sometimes an internal examination is required to further assess the female pelvis and pregnancies. If this is required this will only be performed with patient informed consent.

If you have further questions