In most ultrasound examinations, the patient lies on the examination table which can be tilted or moved.
Aqueous gel is applied to the body area which is being examined in order to facilitate transducer contact with the body and to avoid air bubbles between the transducer and the skin. Radiologist then firmly presses transducer to the skin in different places, by moving it over the desired areas, or leaning the sound beam from a distant place for a better insight in the examination area.
The same transducer is used in the Doppler sonography too.
After the examination, the patient is getting dressed and usually has to wait until the examination of the ultrasound images is done. The radiologist can sometimes also examine the ultrasound images using a live image technique, so the patient can be discharged immediately.
With some ultrasound examinations, the transducer is connected to the probe and inserted into the natural openings of the body. Such examinations include:
- Transoesophageal echocardiogram- transducer is inserted into the oesophagus to obtain images of the heart
- Transrectal ultrasound- a transducer is inserted into a man’s rectum to examine the prostate
- Transvaginal ultrasound- transducer is inserted into vagina to examine the uterus and ovaries
- Most ultrasound examinations take from 15 minutes up to one hour.
- Most ultrasound examinations are painless, fast and simple.
After you sit down on the examination table, the radiologist will apply a little warm watery gel to your skin and then firmly press transducer to your body, moving it back and forth over the examination area, until the required images are taken. The pressure of the transducer on the examination area does not usually cause a feeling of discomfort.
During the Doppler ultrasound examination, you may hear pulsing sounds of variable pitch while monitoring and measuring blood flow.
Upon completion of imaging, the gel is wiped off the skin.