Ultrasound scanning or sonography involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasounds do not use ionizing radiation (x-ray). When we want to examine abdominal organs (liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, spleen) ultrasound is the simplest way to look at them and check blood flow both to them and within the abdomen. Further investigative techniques may be used to pinpoint the cause of abdominal problems. These include X-ray, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and endoscopy (where the inside of the body is examined using a tool called an endoscope).
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Ultrasound can help diagnose a variety of conditions, including:
- Abdominal pains
- Enlarged abdominal organs
- Stones in the gallbladder or kidney
- Tumours and pre-birth malformation
- Aneurysm of major blood vessels (such as the aorta)
- Blockages to blood flow (such as clots)
- Narrowing of blood vessels
If you suspect you are experiencing any of these problems, please contact us now.
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Failure to Conceive
An ultrasound scan is a good first step to investigating why you’re not getting pregnant. When it is performed at the right time in the menstrual cycle it can check for abnormalities in the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It also provides information about the function of the ovaries and womb lining (endometrium).
If the problem is due to a failure to ovulate regularly, medication such as Clomid can help stimulate the ovaries. In these cases we use ultrasound to monitor the follicles (eggs) from around Day 10-13 of the cycle and check that the ovary is not over-stimulated and at risk of multiple pregnancy.
Heavy Periods (Menorrhagia)
Bleeding After Menopause
Ultrasound can be used to measure the lining of the womb (endometrium). If the lining is thicker than normal, further investigation may be required in the form of hysteroscopy and biopsy.
Less commonly, bleeding may be as a result of ovarian cysts or disease of the fallopian tubes which can be detected via ultrasound.
Ovarian CystsUltrasound can help indicate not just that a cyst exists, but also the type of the cyst. Many common cysts are completely benign – cancerous cysts are detected only occasionally. For those with a family history of ovarian cancer, pelvic ultrasound can be a useful diagnostic tool in addition to ovarian cancer screening.Pelvic Pain
Gynaecological ultrasound scan can be very helpful when looking into pelvic problems. It can help detect uterine fibroids, endometriosis within the ovary and swelling of the ovary due to infection or fluid collection (hydrosalpinges).
A normal ultrasound result means it’s unlikely there is a significant underlying problem causing the pain. If you are experiencing issues like those described above, please call us now for a free consultation.