Ultrasound scan at Spire Hartswood Hospital

Examines internal organs, soft tissue and may also be used to assess blood flow to diagnose or monitor conditions.

Why Spire?

  • Fast access to diagnostic tests and scans
  • Specialist in a wide range of treatments
  • Clear pricing with no hidden charges

An ultrasound scan (also called a sonogram) uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the inside of the body.

A referral letter from a consultant or GP is required before booking any diagnostic investigation.

Why you might need it

An ultrasound scan can:

  • Diagnose bone, joint, muscle or tendon problems eg carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, Morton's neuroma and tennis elbow
  • Examine internal organs and tissues (eg the appendix, bladder, gallbladder, kidneys, liver, lymph nodes, ovaries, pancreas, testes and thyroid gland) to diagnose a condition — an ultrasound scan can determine whether an abnormal lump is a solid tumour or fluid-filled cyst and can also detect kidney or gallbladder stones
  • Guide doctors during certain procedures eg a needle biopsy, where a needle is inserted to collect a tissue sample, or an injection to treat frozen shoulder
  • Check the flow of fluids through your body eg blood flow problems, such as deep vein thrombosis or aneurysms — this uses either a Doppler or duplex ultrasound scan
  • Detect heart abnormalities eg heart valve defects or examine the size, function and pressures in your heart and heart valves — this uses an echocardiogram

Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound scan if you have or they suspect you have:

  • An abnormal growth or lump
  • Damaged ligaments, tendons or soft tissues
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Bleeding or fluid in your muscles or joints
  • A heart problem

An ultrasound scan uses high-frequency sound waves to bounce off the different tissues that make up your body and these echoes are detected by the ultrasound probe. This information is sent to a computer that turns them into moving images in real-time. You can’t hear the sound waves produced — the term ultrasound refers to sound waves that are beyond the human hearing range.  The unit of measurement for sound waves — their frequency — is Hertz.

Ultrasound scans that are used to diagnose conditions are usually performed at 2-18 Hertz. Higher frequencies produce better quality images but they are also absorbed by your skin and other tissues. This means high-frequency sound waves can’t create images of tissues deep inside your body. Lower frequencies pass further into your body and therefore can create images of tissues deep inside your body, but the images are of poorer quality.

At Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood, Essex, we offer private ultrasound scans to patients from Brentwood, Billericay, Chelmsford, Wickford, Romford and surrounding areas. You will need a doctor's referral from your GP or consultant and appointments are available six days a week, including early morning and some evenings. A female ultrasonographer is available for gynaecological ultrasound if this is preferred.

To book your appointment please call 01277 266 775

How much does Ultrasound scan cost at Spire Hartswood Hospital

We can't display a fee for this procedure just now. Please contact us for a quote.

Who will do it?

Your ultrasound scan will usually be carried out by a radiologist or a sonographer (a person trained in ultrasound scanning) who will also analyse the results of your scan.

All of our radiographers are of the highest standard and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Before your treatment

You will need a referral letter from a consultant or GP before booking any diagnostic investigation.

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

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Preparing for your treatment

Your healthcare team will tell you how to prepare for your ultrasound scan — what you need to do will vary depending on the part of your body being scanned.

If you are having a pelvic ultrasound scan you may be asked to drink water and not urinate until after your scan.

If you are having an ultrasound scan of your digestive system, liver or gallbladder, you may be asked to:

  • Avoid drinking or eating for a few hours before your scan
  • Eat a low-fibre diet for several days leading up to your scan
  • This is to help reduce the amount of gas in your gut

Depending on the part of your body being scanned, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown. For some ultrasound scans, you may be injected with a contrast agent ie a special dye to improve how well certain tissues appear on the ultrasound images.

The procedure

In a hospital, a radiologist will usually conduct your scan but in some cases, your consultant will. You may have an ultrasound scan at a clinic or GP practice, where it may be a doctor, midwife or nurse who performs your ultrasound scan — they will have completed special training to do this.

During your scan, you will lie down on an examination bed and the transducer will be placed over the part of your body to be examined.

The high-frequency sound waves produced in an ultrasound scan bounce off internal structures in your body. These create echoes that are detected by the transducer on your skin and turned into a moving image on a monitor. The transducer will be moved around to capture images in real-time from different angles. The images can show both structure and movement.


An ultrasound is carried out as an outpatient case so you will be able to go home straight after or as soon as you're able.

Pain relief

These tests are mostly painless. You might feel some slight discomfort but you shouldn’t need any pain relief medication.

When we discharge you we'll talk to you about an appointment to see your specialist again to discuss the test results.

You'll be able to return to work immediately.

Your results and follow up

Spire hospitals have an agreement with radiologists that reports should be completed within five working days - this is regardless of the body part that has been scanned. However, there are occasions when a specialist radiologist opinion is needed and in these cases it can take a little bit longer.

Results are always returned to your referrer - this can be your NHS GP, private consultant or private GP, or an organisation (such as the MoD).

Spire hospitals have an agreement with radiologists that reports should be completed within five working days - this is regardless of the body part that has been scanned. However, there are occasions when a specialist radiologist opinion is needed and in these cases it can take a little bit longer.

Results are always returned to your referrer - this can be your NHS GP, private consultant or private GP, or an organisation (such as the MoD).

You should arrange a follow up appointment with your referrer to receive the results of imaging examinations.

The results of imaging examinations often only form a part of the investigations and treatments requested or carried out by consultants, so should not be read in isolation. Your referrer will have a holistic view of your medical history, so can advise on the outcome of a radiology report alongside all other tests results and previous or current medical conditions.


Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.

How to get to us

Spire Hartswood Hospital is based in quiet and peaceful grounds, just two miles from the M25 motorway and easily accessible from other major roads like the M11, A12 and A13. It is 25 miles from London Stansted Airport and 20 miles from central London.

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Spire Hartswood Hospital,

Eagle Way
CM13 3LE

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Important information about COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Hartswood Hospital.


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