Ultrasound FAQ Ultrasound FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I need to book an appointment?

A. Ultrasound exams do require appointments. Please contact our Langley or Abbotsford offices for ultrasound appointments. Consult your doctor's office if you are unsure what type of examination you have been referred for. Please give us 24 hours notice to cancel your appointment. Fees are charged for 'no-shows'.

Q. How should I prepare for an examination?

A. Pregnancy or pelvic ultrasound: Drink 32 oz. of water before the exam. You must be finished drinking one hour before the exam start. DO NOT go to the washroom until after your examination. While uncomfortable, a full bladder helps to enhance the ultrasound image of the pelvic organs. If your bladder is not full at the time of the exam, the test may not be able to be completed.

Abdominal ultrasound: Nothing to eat or drink for 6 to 8 hours before the test. You may drink a small amount of water to take medication.

Renal ultrasound: Drink 20 oz. of water before the exam. You must be finished drinking one hour before the exam start. DO NOT go to the washroom until after your examination.

No preparation is needed for vascular exams

On the day of your appointment we ask that you shower, refrain from wearing scented products (due to patients and employees with allergies) and wear clothing that can easily be moved out of the way or removed if necessary.

Q. How long will my exam take?

A. The average time for an ultrasound is 30 minutes. This can vary depending on the complexity of the exam so please allow for delays. We also ask that you arrive a minimum of 15 minutes early for your appointment to allow time to park and check-in.

Q. Can I bring my child with me to my appointment?

A. We request that you do not bring children with you to your exam. Children cannot be in the exam room for safety reasons. Medical equipment and supplies are potential hazards to a child. Because our staff need to focus on other patients they are not able to supervise children. Please arrange to leave the children at home or to bring another adult to watch them in the waiting room.

Q. Can I bring family members with me?

A. With the exception of OB (obstetrical) exams, we do not allow anyone else to be in the room during the exam. This is for safety reasons and to allow the technologist to focus solely on acquiring your images. For OB exams we do allow family members in the room but only after the medical portion of the exam is complete and the technologist has obtained all of the necessary images.
Exceptions may be made for a patient with physical or cognitive challenges that requires assistance, or in some cases, where an interpreter is required.

Q. What happens during an ultrasound scan?

A. For some exams you will be asked to change into a gown. The sonographer, specially trained in ultrasound procedures, will discuss the exam with you and answer any questions you might have. The technologist will assist you on the table and ask you to hold still. A special gel will be applied directly to your skin in the area that is to be examined. The sonographer will use a small transducer (it looks like a microphone) and will slowly guide it over your skin in the area that has been covered with gel. This will produce pictures of your organs and blood vessels that will appear on the sonographer's monitor. You may be asked to hold your breath. Pictures will be taken periodically for further study.

Q. Why do I need a full bladder for my renal, pelvic, or obstetrical ultrasound exam?

A. Ultrasound uses sound waves to generate a picture. A full bladder moves the organs and allows the sound waves to pass through so the sonographer can view the target of the ultrasound.

Q. Can I still take my medications before my abdominal/gallbladder ultrasound test?

A. Yes, but it is best to take these only with a small amount of water – and only water.

Q. Will the technologist tell me the results of my exam?

A. No. Even though the technologists are registered and are specially trained to perform your exam, only radiologists are qualified to interpret your results. For this reason our technologists cannot discuss what they see with you. The radiologist will interpret your images and a report will be sent to your doctor.

Q. Can I find out the gender of my baby at the time of my visit?

A. With your permission, the sonographer will assess the gender of your baby during the course of the scan. Your sonographer will make every attempt to obtain the fetal gender but sometimes the position of the baby or other factors may make it difficult to determine the gender and results are not 100 percent accurate. If the gender of the baby is determined, the sonographer may then inform you of the results at the end of your exam.

Q. Can I take pictures or videos with my own equipment during the exam?

A. We do not allow the use of outside video or photography equipment in the exam rooms as this can interfere with the technologist's ability to adequately complete the medical examination.

Q. Can I get an ultrasound picture of my baby?

A. Printed baby pictures may be provided on regular paper at no cost. You have the option of purchasing a CD or USB with approx. four images of your baby. Please consult the clinic for up-to-date pricing information.

Q. What will happen following my ultrasound exam?

A. After your ultrasound exam you may resume your normal activities, diet, and medications unless instructed otherwise by the technologist or your doctor. There are no after effects from the exam.

Q. When will my doctor get the report?

A. Your results are reviewed first by the radiologist and the report is usually faxed to your doctor by the end of the business day. Urgent results will be phoned or faxed to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor also has the option to view your results online.

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