The information below is intended for patients preparing for an Ultrasound examination at Melbourne Radiology Clinic. Ultrasound is a type of scan that uses inaudible high frequency sound waves to create detailed pictures of the body. It is a safe, painless and radiation free examination that has been used in medicine for well over 50 years.

Download PDF Patient Information Sheet Melbourne Radiology Clinic - Ultrasound: Patient Information Sheet

Ultrasound - Thyroid Gland
Ultrasound images can be taken during motion, so both still images and video images may be produced. The type of image provided to your doctor will depend upon what is requested, your individual circumstances and the preference of our doctor.


Ultrasound examinations of the different body parts may require special preparation, such as fasting or drinking water.

Please take the time to read the summary of instructions below for the type of ultrasound examination you are to have. Our receptionist will provide you with the necessary instructions when you book your appointment and also answer any queries that you may have.

Female pelvic ultrasound

The preparation requirements for female pelvic ultrasounds vary according to age, stage of pregnancy or type of condition requiring investigation.

Summary of Ultrasound Examinations and Preparation Required



  • Abdomen
  • Fast for 6 hours prior (usually withhold breakfast).
    Only have small sips of water for any medication that you may be taking.
  • Pelvis, Renal & 1st Trimester Pregnancy
  • 75 minutes prior to the appointment empty your bladder and then drink one litre of water (not coffee or tea), finishing the water at least one hour before the examination.
    Do NOT empty your bladder until after the examination
  • 2nd and 3rd trimester Pregnancy
  • None
    Please advise if having twins
  • Musculoskeletal
    (any part of a limb, all joints, muscles)
  • None
  • Breast, eye, thyroid, penile, scrotum
  • None
  • Vascular
    - Doppler veins
    - Doppler Carotid, Leg & other arteries
    - Doppler Aorta & Renal.

  • None
  • None
  • Fast 8 hours
  • Injection, biopsy or FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration)
  • None


Upon arrival at Melbourne Radiology Clinic, you will be taken to a change room. You will be requested to remove relevant clothing and jewellery and to wear the provided examination gown. The area to be examined will need to be exposed but the rest of you will be covered.

Procedures can take up to 1 hour to conduct with the average time being 20-30 minutes and will be discussed with you at the time of booking.

You will be asked to lie on a couch or sit on a chair (depending on the examination) next to the ultrasound equipment. A university-trained sonographer who is accredited with the Australian Sonographer Accreditation Registry (ASAR). captures and prints the requested images using a probe (also known as a transducer) which emits the ultrasound waves.

A water-based gel will be spread on the skin of the area being scanned which assists in the transmission of sound waves between the body and probe. The soundwaves are then reflected by the tissues in your body back to the probe. This information is then used to form an image that is used to obtain a diagnosis. You may be required to hold your breath or move into different positions so that the best images can be obtained.

Ultrasound waves cannot penetrate gas and bone. As such, ultrasound cannot be used to look beyond the soft tissue surrounding joints, into the lungs or gas containing bowel loops, however can obtain adequate images of solid organs such as the liver and uterus, as well as fluid filled organs such as the gall bladder.

On occasion, our radiologist may need to speak with you and come in and scan as well. There is no need for concern, as the radiologist, who is medicolegally responsible for your health and also for the accuracy of the report, must be satisfied that the images captured will answer the question your referring doctor has asked.


A radiologist, a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images for the purposes of providing a diagnosis, will then review the images and provide a formal written report. If medically urgent, or you have an appointment immediately after the scan to be seen by your doctor or health care provider, Melbourne Radiology Clinic will instantly have your results ready. Otherwise, the report will be received by your doctor or health care provider within the next 24 hours.


Whilst every effort is made to keep your appointment time, the special needs of complex cases, elderly and frail patients can cause unexpected delays. Your consideration and patience in these circumstances is appreciated.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:06 )