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Ultrasound

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is the trasmission of high frequency sound waves into the body by moving an instrument called a transducer across the skin’s surface. It is safe, painless and involves no ionising radiation and has been in use for over 50 years.

 

What is Ultrasound used for?

There are 2 types of Ultrasound used in medicine; therapeutic and diagnostic.

Therapeutic Ultrasound uses the sound waves to treat musculo-skeletal injuries and you will need to attend an Allied Health Practitioner such as a Physiotherapist or sport medicine clinic for this type of procedure.

 

Diagnostic Ultrasound uses the returning echoes from the sound waves, along with computers to produce detailed images of the soft tissue organs of the body. These images are then reviewed by a specialist doctor known as a radiologist or sonologist and a report is prepared for your doctor

 

Diagnostic Ultrasound examinations often have very specific preparation requirements to ensure your examination is as helpful as possible in diagnosing your medical condition. please refer to the Preparation tab to view the general information and please contact your local North Coast Radiology Group branch to book your appointment and ensure you are advised of any additional preparation instructions

Many Ultrasound examinations have specific Federal Government Pre-requisites in place to enable you to claim a medicare rebate for that examination.  When you book your appointment you will be advised if a rebate is applicable for your examination.

Having said that some categories of examinations commonly asked about. Here is an overview.

 

Pregnancy Scans and Nuchal Translucency Scans

0 – 12 Weeks – Due to the need to know dates, all patients are eligible to a scan during this period and receive a medicare rebate.

12 – 16 Weeks – For a scan during this time, there needs to be a medical reason such as query dates, bleeding or diminished symptoms of pregnancy. See the detailed List below for more examples.

17 Weeks + – Everyone is entitled to one Morphology scan. If more than one scan is required in between 17 and 22 weeks, the referral must be referred by an Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialist or a GP with a Diploma in Obstetrics & Gynaecology and also requires a clinical reason such as those listed below.

22 Weeks + – Requires a clinical reason such as those listed below. If more than one scan is required after 22 weeks, the referral must be referred by an Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialist or a GP with a Diploma in Obstetrics & Gynaecology and also requires a clinical reason such as those listed below.

Valid clinical reasons which should be documented on the referral for Pregnancy and Nuchal Translucency Scans where clinical reasons are required:

Hyperemesis gravidarum, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, toxaemia of pregnancy, liver or renal disease, autoimmune disease, cardiac disease, alloimmunisation, maternal infection, inflammatory bowel disease, bowel stoma, abdominal wall scarring, previous spinal or pelvic trauma or disease, drug dependency, thrombophilia, significant maternal obesity, advanced maternal age, abdominal pain or mass, uncertain dates, high risk pregnancy, previous post dates delivery, previous caesarean section, poor obstetric history, suspicion of ectopic pregnancy, risk of miscarriage, diminished symptoms of pregnancy, suspected or known cervical incompetence, suspected or known uterine abnormality, pregnancy after assisted reproduction, risk of foetal abnormality.

 

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Please refer to the downloads section for a specific run down on medicare requirements for Shoulders and Knees as ‘pain’ as a reason does not meet medicare requirements

For all other joints, pain is a medicare eligible reason to use to qualify for a rebate.

 

Other Ultrasounds

For all other Ultrasounds, combining another examination with a Doppler cannot be done on the same day

Diagnostic Ultrasound examinations often have very specific preparation requirements to ensure your examination is as helpful as possible in diagnosing your medical condition. Please see below for general information about preparing for Ultrasound examinations and please contact your local North Coast Radiology Group branch to book your appointment and ensure you are advised of any additional preparation instructions.

 

Abdomen

Do not eat,drink or smoke for 6 hours before appointment

 

Renal

Do not eat for 4 hours before appointment. Empty bladder 1 hour before appointment, then immediately drink 1 ltr of water. A full bladder is required for this examination

 

Renal Arterial Doppler

Do not eat for 4 hours before appointment. During this time you are required to drink 2 ltrs of water. You may empty your bladder when required. A full bladder is not necessary for this examination

 

Pelvis

Empty bladder 1hr hour before appointment, then immediately drink 1 ltr of water.  A full bladder is required for this examination

 

Pregnancy

Empty bladder 1hr hour before appointment, then immediately drink 1 ltr of water. You may empty your bladder up to half an hour before appointment. A full bladder is required for this examination

Ultrasound images are often considered difficult to interpret without specialist training, but we have selected some images here that are easier to recognise.

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