top of page

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?
    An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) to create images of the inside of the body. Ultrasound is sent into the body and bounces back (or echoes) off the different tissues it passes through. This echo gives the ultrasound image its features, with varying shades of grey representing different densities. Ultrasound is safer than an X-Ray because it uses sound waves, instead of radiation. For this reason, it is commonly used to evaluate fetal development during pregnancy. ​ Ultrasound can also detect problems in the liver, heart, kidney, or abdomen. As it generates a real time moving image, it is particularly useful in the diagnosis of circulatory problems, i.e. blood flow through your arteries and veins. This is known as a Doppler ultrasound. ​ The person who performs an ultrasound scan is called a sonographer. Ultrasound images are usually interpreted by radiologists, cardiologists, or other specialists who then reports these findings to the referrer to discuss with the patient.
  • 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.
  • Do I need a referral?
    You would usually be referred by your medical practitioner, however, in some instances where medically warranted, you may be able to self refer. If you have medical insurance, you may need a referral for reimbursement. We recommend speaking directly to your insurance company.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Where are you located
    24 Porter Drive Havelock North. This is located next to Big Barrel and opposite the second hand shop.
  • Are you an ACC provider
    Yes and we can see you quickly. Our surcharge is $20.
  • Are you affiliated with Southern Cross
    Yes we are an affiliated provider and depending on your policy can charge Southern Cross directly.
  • How should I prepare for my scan
    For pregnancy, kidney or Pelvic scans you are required to have a full bladder (usually drink up to 1 litre or water one hour prior and hold on)
  • How should I prepare for my scan
    Pregnancy, Kidney, Pelvic scans require a full bladder for the scan. Abdominal scans require a full fast 6 hours prior. MSK wear suitable clothing to access the area.
  • How long will my scan take
    Most scans are between 15-30 minutes. 21 week anatomy scans we allow up to 45 minutes.

If you have further questions

bottom of page