Ultrasound

Radiology 3

We perform ultrasound at three locations:

– Airedale Hospital main Radiology Department (location A14)
– Airedale Hospital antenatal clinic (obstetric scans only)
– Keighley Health Centre X-Ray Department

The department performs a variety of examinations including routine scans to more complex interventional procedures. The scans are performed by sonographers and radiologists.

Modern equipment enabled with the latest technology is utilised throughout the department.

What is an ultrasound scan?

An ultrasound scan uses high frequency sound waves to produce a diagnostic grey scale image. Sound waves pass into the body via a transducer (ultrasound probe) and are reflected back. The ultrasound machine then converts the reflecting sound waves into a real time image.

What is ultrasound used for? 

Ultrasound can be used for imaging the following areas;

  • Abdominal – including liver, gallbladder, kidneys, spleen, great vessels and bladder.

  • Gynaecology – including uterus, ovaries and bladder.

  • Obstetric – including during a pregnancy, confirming viability, screen for abnormalities and assess fetal growth.

  • Small parts – including testes and thyroid.

  • Breast – including diagnosis of breast pathology and as an aid to breast biopsies.

  • Musculoskeletal – including muscles, joints, tendons and skin.

  • Vascular – including veins and arteries

  • Interventional – including injections, aspirations and biopsies.

What will happen during a scan?

An ultrasound examination is a painless, usually non-invasive procedure.  Depending on the part of the body being examined, there are several methods of performing the examination.

On arrival for your appointment you may be shown to a cubicle and asked to take off some of your clothing and put on a hospital gown (if you wish to bring a dressing gown with you, please do.)  This will depend on the part of your body and type of scan you are having.

You will be invited into an examination room and asked to lie on a couch next to an ultrasound machine.  The part of your body to be scanned will be to expose and a clear water-based gel will then be applied to your skin.  The gel helps to transmit the sound waves through your body to produce the ultrasound image.  The Sonographer will press the transducer (ultrasound probe) onto your skin and move it around to examine the area.  An image will be produced on the screen and the Sonographer will predominately be concentrating on these images.  If you would like anything explained though, do just ask.  The Sonographer may ask you to breathe in and to move into different positions during the scan; this is to just to help them achieve the best possible images.

For some examinations it may be necessary for an internal scan to be performed.  These types of scans give more detailed images and are most commonly used when scanning the female pelvis.  For examinations that require an internal examination, a chaperone will be present during the scan.  This is usually a radiology assistant.

Depending on the type of scan being carried out, the examination can take between 5 minutes and half an hour.  At the end of the scan the Sonographer will give you some tissue paper to wipe the gel from your skin and you will be able to get off the couch.  The Sonographer will then explain what you need to do next.