Procedure: Having an Ultrasound Scan

In ultrasound scanning, a device called a transducer emits high-frequency sound waves and receives their echoes to produce images on a monitor. To ensure good contact between the transducer and the body, the radiographer places gel on the skin over the area to be examined before moving the transducer over it. An ultrasound scan takes 10–30 minutes and is completely painless.

During the procedure

The radiographer moves the transducer back and forth over the area using gentle pressure. Modern scanners continually update the image on the monitor, which means the radiographer can monitor movement. He or she may use the control panel to make measurements, such as the diameter of a gallstone.


Ultrasound scan of gallbladder

In this ultrasound scan, the fluid-filled gallbladder and the gallstone it contains are clearly visible.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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