1)  What is ultrasound scanning?

Ultrasound is a high frequency sound that cannot be heard by humans, but which is emitted and detected by ultrasound machines. The machine detects the sound wave and procedures pictures – called ultrasound images.
2)  How does ultrasound work?

Ultrasound travels freely through fluid and soft tissues, but is reflected back as ‘echoes’ when it hits a more solid (dense) surface. For example, ultrasound waves will travel freely through fluid and will be reflected back to the ultrasound probe, such that ultrasound images are electronically computed for that particular organ or structure.

3)  What are some of the common uses of the procedure?

Thyroid ultrasound is used for diagnosing suspected thyroid disease.  Most ultrasound examinations are performed to look at palpable or visible ‘lumps’, or enlargement of the gland found during a clinical examination.  The ultrasound can establish if the nodule is inside or outside the thyroid gland and whether it is a cyst or soft tissue nodule.  Cysts are almost always non-cancerous (benign),  although in some cases the fluid may be taken out by a needle, under ultrasound guidance, for additional testing.

Testicular ultrasound is an imaging technique used for the diagnosis of suspected abnormalities of the scrotum.  It is the primary imaging method used to evaluate problems of the testicles and surrounding tissues.  It is used when patients feel a lump in the scrotum .  Other indications for ultrasound scan include an absent or undescended testicle, inflammation, testicular torsion (twisted testes), fluid collection, abnormal blood vessels (varicocele) or a mass (lump or tumour).

Transvaginal ultrasound is a very intimate examination carried out in women suspected of having abnormalities in the uterus or ovaries.  It is used to look for uterine fibroids, endometrial abnormalities, mass lesions and cysts in the ovaries, fluids and collections in the pelvis as a result of pelvic infections, and it is particularly useful in diagnosing polycystic ovaries as party of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).  This examination is carried out by a Consultant Radiologist.

4)  What are the other uses of Ultrasound?

In addition to other parts of the body, ultrasound is used to examine the heart and this procedure may be performed by cardiologists. Radiologists, or specially trained cardiac ultrasound.
5)  What does an ultrasound scan involve?

You lie on a couch and an operator (usually a Consultant Radiologist), applies a lubricating gel on the part of the body to be examined.  A probe is then placed on your skin over the part of your body to be examined.  The lubricating jelly is designed to allow sound waves to pass through your body by making good probe and skin contact.  The probe is connected by a wire to be ultrasound machine. 
 Pulses of ultrasound are sent from the probe through the skin into your body.  The ultrasound waves bounce echoes back from various parts of the body which are registered by the machine.  The machine displays the pictures, on a TV like monitor so that the operator and you can see the images of your organs, blood vessels and fluids in your body.  

6)  What are the Types of ultrasound examination?

1) Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
Examination includes: soft tissue scanning to look for injuries to muscles & tendons, shoulder, wrist, Achilles tendon and its attachment to bone. It is a recognised examination tool for some knee injuries or problems.

2) Upper Abdominal ultrasound
Examination includes: liver, gall bladder, bile duct, pancreas, kidneys, spleen, abdominal aorta & para-aortic regions.

3) Urinary Tract Renal ultrasound
Examinations include: kidneys, urinary bladder (pre and post micturition assessment to look for urinary residue.

4) Vascular ultrasound
Examinations include: carotid arteries (including carotid artery intimal thickness) and venous studies (to look for venous thrombosis).

5) Scrotal ultrasound
The examination looks for tumours within or outside the testes, abnormal collection of veins, hernias and fluids in the scrotum.

6) Pelvis

7) Thyroid
7)  How long will it take?

The scan test is painless and takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on which part of the body is being examined. Ultrasound scans to detect clots (or DVT’s) in the deep veins of the leg may take up to 30 minutes.
8)  What is an ultrasound test used for?

An ultrasound test is a diagnostic tool which supports patient’s clinical management.  An Ultrasound test is also carried out in preventative health screening, predominantly to look for blood flows through the carotid artery.  The screening of the carotid arteries wall may detect narrowing and plaques in the blood vessels if present.  An ultrasound can detect aneurysm of the abdominal aorta.
9)  What should I do to prepare for the test?

Preparation for each scan depends on the clinical problem that needs to be solved.  For upper abdominal scans such as liver, gall bladder, and pancreatic scans you will be told not to eat any meals for at least 6 hours before the scan or overnight.    For Adult pelvic and urinary balder scans, you will be instructed to drink fluids to fill up your bladder up to a point where you are just a little uncomfortable, but not bursting.  You will also be advised to avoid fizzy drinks for both upper abdominal and pelvic scans.  You will be advised to keep urine in your bladder and not to empty it until after your examination.  For a transvaginal ultrasound , you do not need any preparation.

10)  How should I prepare for the examination?

It is preferred to wear loose fitting clothing. Different examinations require different preparations, the staff will give you the relevant instructions as to what to do.
11)  Are there any side effects or complications from ultrasound?

Ultrasound scans are painless and safe, unlike x-rays, CT’s and nuclear medicine examinations, ultrasound does not use radiation. It has not found to cause any problems or complications within the medical diagnostic range.
12)  What are the benefits of ultrasound?

    It is non-invasive
    It can be used safely during pregnancy
    Ultrasound can visualise movement and function
13)  What are the limitations of ultrasound?

Ultrasound has difficulty in penetrating bone and air. It can only see the outer surface of the bone and organs filled with gas, such as bowel and stomach.
14)  Why do you select Lakeside Medical Diagnostic for ultrasound scanning?

• Provision of ultrasound services within the primary health care environment, Which is the familiar and comfortable environment for the patient.
• The ultrasound service within the primary health care setting. Will be consultant- led and delivered.
  Ultrasound examinations will therefore be performed and reported by Consultant Radiologists.
• Minimal or no waiting time.
• Scans will be reported and dispatched to the GP within 2-3 working days.
• Promotes the desirable very close liaison between the GP and Consultant Radiologist,
  in the interest of patient care. When urgent or significant pathologic findings are detected during ultrasound
  examinations, these will be communicated and fully discussed with the GP as quickly as possible.
  A normal scan will be reassuring for a patient and the GPs or will prompt other evaluations as may be
  appropriate. Early diagnosis of pathologic lesions, which will improve early detection and treatment of various
  illness including cancer. Ultrasound imaging does not utilize radiation. It is relatively cheap service to provide and can be used in all age groups.
15)  Who carries out the examinations?

The examination is carried out by radiologists who are all highly qualified & very experienced.
16)  How can I contact Lakeside Medical Diagnostics?

Either by telephone on 01708 805141 Monday – Friday 9-3pm, or fax 01708 868917 
17)  How can I get an ultrasound scanning through Lakeside Medical Diagnostic?

Via GP referral
18)  How can i make an ultrasound  appointment?

Via telephone
19)  What is the Basic Principle of the Practice by the staff?

    Provide Friendly service
    Personalised service
    Provide Comfort for patients
    Provide Care & Encouragement.
    Pay attention to patient’s needs and concerns.
20)  How can a patient be booked for ultrasound scanning?

Your GP can refer you by the system called Choose and Book or by a faxed referral.
21)  Is this the only way a GP can book the appointment?

No,  If the GP thinks clinically that the condition needs immediate/urgent scanning your GP can contact us by telephone to get the urgent scan booked the same/next day.
22)  What happens when I have the scan?

Your ultrasound report will be discussed with you by the Consultant Radiologist, who will later arrange for your scan report to be typed and sent.
23)  What happens if the scan report reveals an abnormality?

Your ultrasound report will be discussed with you by the Consultant Radiologist, who will later arrange for your report to be typed and sent.
24)  What happens if I am not satisfied with the scan or the procedure?

You can either make a verbal complaint or a written complaint which can be sent to us addressed to the manager.
25)  How long will it be before I get a response?

26)  Can I have copies of the report?

The report is typed and faxed to your GP the next working day.

27)  When will the report and scan get to my GP?

You can receive a copy from your GP
28)  Can my referring GP contact the Consultant Radiologist to discuss my scan and report?

The scan report will be type and faxed to your GP with 2-3 working days.  If a finding is considered to be urgent, it will be faxed on the next working day.
29)  Do we have a complaint and service manager for this service?

Yes your referring GP can contract the Consultant Radiologist and he would be happy to explain the findings and answer your questions.
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