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Ultrasound

An ultrasound scan is a procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to generate images of internal body structures.

 

Ultrasound has a wide range of applications. It is commonly used for obstetric imaging; small parts imaging, including the breast, neck and testes; abdominal and pelvic imaging; as well as musculoskeletal and vascular imaging.

 

UItrasound provides detailed, real time information without the use of radiation. The ability to see a moving image also makes ultrasound an excellent tool for guiding procedures such as needle biopsies and injections.

 

Images are generated with the use of a small hand held ultrasound transducer. High frequency sound waves, not audible to the human ear, are transmitted to the area of interest and the reflected signal is converted into an image. Our specialist Radiologists then review these images for diagnostic purposes.

 

Ultrasound uses sound waves only and does not use ionising radiation.

 

Ultrasound does not have any known risks, side effects or complications and is considered very safe.

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 see below for general information about preparing for Ultrasound examinations. For your specific appointment, your preparation requirements will be outlined at the time of booking. Click on any links (underlined) below to get a PDF copy of the specific Patient Information sheet.

 

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

Your Sonographer will collect you from the reception area and escort you through to the ultrasound room. Depending on your scan, you may be required to change into a gown. You will then be positioned accordingly for your scan.

 

A water-based gel will be applied to the relevant area to ensure that the transducer has adequate contact with your skin. The Sonographer will then use the transducer to obtain different views and record a series of images. This process is generally pain-free, however some pressure may need to be applied to improve the image. Your Sonographer may request that you also assist in certain scans, for example – holding your breath, which allows for improved views of certain structures.

Your scan time will vary depending on the complexity of the requested examination. Most simple ultrasound scans take approximately 15-20 minutes, however more time is required for complex studies such as certain obstetric or vascular imaging.

 

When the scan is complete, it may be necessary for you to wait while our Radiologist reviews the obtained images. Occasionally further imaging may be required. Your Sonographer will advise you if this is the case.

The cost of the scan depends on a number of factors, including the type of scan that your doctor has requested and whether you have a Government issued concession card. Please advise our friendly Customer Service Team if you are a pension or health care card holder.

 

Our Customer Service Team will be able to advise you of all costs involved with your ultrasound including any out of pocket cost (if relevant).

 

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

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