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An ultrasound is a scan that uses high frequency sound waves to create pictures of the inside of the body. It is used to look for any changes in organs and tissue.

Why you might need it

An ultrasound can show internal organs as well as blood flow so is used to look for changes in organs and tissues. It is used for a variety of investigations in different parts of the body:

  • Heart - An echocardiogram is a specialised ultrasound scan of the heart, which gives a range of information on the size, function and pressures of the heart, and the heart valves.
  • Prostate - You may have an ultrasound to examine your prostate gland. The ultrasound can help identify abnormal growths and whether or not your prostate is enlarged. It can also check for any abnormalities of your testes.
  • Uterus, ovaries and breast - Ultrasound is used to identify any suspicious lumps in breasts and to examine the uterus and ovaries for abnormalities.
  • Other organs - Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound to help identify tumours, cysts or gallstones in organs such as the gall bladder, liver, kidneys, pancreas and bladder.
  • Pregnancy - An ultrasound is used to look at the foetus during the early stages of pregnancy, to help assess its age, position and health, and the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby. (Please note, pregnancy ultrasounds may not be offered at all Spire hospitals.)
  • Musculo-skeletal - Ultrasound can help diagnose tears in muscles and tendons, look at bleeding or fluid in muscles and joints, and examine ligaments and soft tissue.
  • Assisting in complex surgical procedures - Surgeons may use ultrasound to guide procedures such as needle biopsies because it produces a clear image of the affected area.

If you decide to have your treatment with us, you will be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care.

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

Before your treatment

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.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

 

The procedure

We understand that having a scan can potentially be a time of anxiety and worry. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you, holding your hand, every step of the way.

During an ultrasound, we will ask you to lie on a table, usually facing upwards.

The radiologist will apply a clear gel to the area of your body being examined. This helps the ultrasound machine, which uses high frequency sound waves to create pictures, make secure contact with your body.

The radiologist will move part of the machine over the area of interest to get a picture.

Aftercare

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.


Looking after you

Even once you’ve left hospital, we’re still here for you. Your specialist is likely to want to see you after your tests. We take an integrated approach so we can organise any other care that you may need should your test results show something abnormal.

We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

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.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

You can trust Spire Thames Valley Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price (1) so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner (2) you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

(1) Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

(2) Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

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.