Where experience matters: Senior Ultrasonographer / Consultant Radiologist Scans
The GP Surgery offers affordable on-site private ultrasound scans in London (Wimbledon) performed by a senior ultrasonographer or consultant radiologist.
What is an ultrasound scan?
An ultrasound scan is a painless medical test using high-frequency sound waves to capture images of organs and other structures in your body. It’s also known as sonography.
An ultrasound scan allows your doctor to see any problems with organs, blood vessels and body tissues without needing to make an incision.
How is an ultrasound performed?
An ultrasound transducer (also called a probe), coated with lubricating gel, is placed on your skin over the part of the body that is being examined.
The sound waves that are generated are sent to a monitor which shows real-time images of the underlying internal organs, muscles or bones.
An ultrasound carries minimal risks. Unlike X-rays or CT scans, ultrasound uses no radiation. For this reason, they are the preferred method for examining a developing fetus during pregnancy.
Most people therefore associate ultrasound scans with pregnancy, providing an expectant mother with the first view of her unborn child. However, the test has many other uses.
Your doctor may order an ultrasound if you’re experiencing pain, swelling or other symptoms that require an internal view of your organs.
An ultrasound can provide a view of the:
- brain (in infants)
- blood vessels
How to prepare for an ultrasound scan
Certain types of ultrasound scans may need you to follow specific instructions to improve the image quality of the scan, such as:
- Drink plenty of water and do not empty your bladder until after your scan – This may be necessary before an antenatal scan or gynaecological pelvic scan.
- Avoid eating for eight hours before your scan, but drink plenty of clear fluids and do not empty your bladder until after the scan – This may be necessary before an abdominal scan checking your liver and gallbladder.
Your doctor will inform you if any of these are applicable to you.
How the different types of ultrasound scans are performed
External ultrasound scan
An external ultrasound scan is used to examine the liver, kidneys and other organs in your abdomen. It can also be used to assess your muscles and joints, as well as other organs, via the sound waves through your skin.
A lubricating gel is put on your skin and a small handheld probe is moved over your skin to assess the underlying structures. You should not feel anything other than the sensor and gel on your skin.
Internal or transvaginal ultrasound scan
A transvaginal ultrasound scan allows our ultrasonographer to examine female reproductive organs, such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix and vagina. “Transvaginal” means “through the vagina” as this is an internal examination.
Reasons for a transvaginal ultrasound, include:
- An abnormal pelvic or abdominal exam;
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding;
- Pelvic pain;
- An ectopic pregnancy (which occurs when the fetus implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes);
- A check for cysts or uterine fibroids; and
- To verify that an IUD has been properly placed.
During the procedure, you will be asked to lie on your back and a small probe (transducer) will be passed about two to three inches into the vaginal canal while the images are transmitted to a monitor.
These internal examinations are ideal for examining a patient’s ovaries and womb. It may cause some discomfort, but should not be painful.
What happens after your ultrasound scan?
Following the exam, your doctor will review the images and check for any abnormalities. You will be contacted telephonically to discuss the findings, or to schedule a follow-up appointment.