What to Expect for an Ultrasound Appointment
If you have an upcoming ultrasound and have never had one before, or it’s been a while since your last one, you may have some questions. What will the ultrasound be like? What will the ultrasound feel like? Do I need to do anything to prepare for an ultrasound?
It’s perfectly natural to have questions before an imaging appointment. Having answers helps ease any nerves and helps your appointment go smoothly. We’ll address the most common questions people have before an ultrasound in this post.
What is Getting an Ultrasound Like?
The exact procedure largely depends on which part of the body is being evaluated. Regardless, ultrasounds are painless! Ultrasounds produce images of inside the body by generating sound waves and sending them into the body. They bounce off the tissue, allowing an image to be recorded and shown. The instrument that does all of this work is called a transducer.
When you come in for your appointment, you will check-in and be brought to a private room for your ultrasound to take place. The technician only needs access to the part of your body that is being scanned.
The entire appointment typically takes less than an hour. When your technician enters the room and begins the ultrasound, you will see exactly what they see. The images are produced in real-time as your technician works!
However, you may not fully understand the images and what they mean—and that’s okay. The technician will often talk you through what you see on the screen. Additionally, your doctor will assess the images and explain what their trained eye sees and what that means for you.
What Does an Ultrasound Feel Like?
Ultrasounds are entirely painless. Often, the gel that is used for ultrasounds can feel a little cold and somewhat sticky. The gel is used to serve as a connection point for the transducer and the skin. The gel helps create clear images and is necessary to complete the ultrasound.
Often, the gel is the only part of the ultrasound that patients describe as even slightly uncomfortable—just because it can feel cold. While your technician works, you will feel them moving the transducer around the area being assessed to get the best angle for the image to send to the doctor. The transducer—which is often like a wand—will glide over the gel.
The technician may need to apply slight pressure to get a specific view in some instances. However, this will be explained as they are working, and technicians are trained to make the process pain-free and comfortable.
Do I Need to Do Anything to Prepare for an Ultrasound?
In most cases, preparation for an ultrasound is minimal. For particular scans, you may be asked to refrain from eating in specific cases as undigested food can cause obstruction of images. Other times, you may be instructed to drink water beforehand, as it can enhance visibility to the pelvic organs.
Whatever you do, it’s important to listen to any instructions given.
When you go to your appointment, it is easiest to wear loose-fitting clothing. This makes it easier to meet the needs of your technician and where they need to scan.
If you have any allergies, such as latex, or have been taking over-the-counter medication, it’s important to disclose this to your imaging provider.
The Orchard Imaging Difference
Getting an ultrasound at Orchard Imaging is comfortable and effective. We have state-of-the-art equipment and trained technicians that will talk you through every step of the way. Our goal is to serve you and ensure your experience is the best!
Often, you may not think you have an option when it comes to where to get an ultrasound done—most are in hospitals by default. Unfortunately, the cost of hospitals is often 3-4 times higher than an independent company like Orchard Imaging. Plus, the wait time can take months!
We exist to be an alternative for you. With fast appointment scheduling, easy parking, low wait times, lower costs, the best equipment, and friendly staff, we think the choice is clear!