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Ultrasound scan

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Diagnostic for:

  • Prostate conditions
  • Bladder conditions

An ultrasound uses sound waves to take images of the inside of your body, and is used to diagnose a range of conditions.

  • Also called a sonogram
  • A quick scan, with results within days
  • Helps diagnose problems, plan treatment and perform surgeries

Birmingham Prostate Clinic are a team of leading urologists and oncologists, who specialise in diagnosing and treating prostate, bladder and kidney conditions

Our consultants use ultrasounds at many stages along a continuous care pathway from diagnosis to treatment.

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It’s time to get some answers about your health. Our expert consultants are available for appointments to discuss your symptoms and the tests and scans you might need.

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What is an ultrasound scan?

You may know about ultrasounds used during pregnancy. But they can also diagnose medical conditions and assist surgeons during surgeries.

An ultrasound probe can be used externally, on top of your skin, or internally, inside your body to take a close look.

How does an ultrasound work?

Ultrasounds works using sound waves. You can think about it like taking a picture with sound instead of light.

The ultrasound probe emits high-frequency sound waves, which bounce around inside your body to create echoes. The echoes are turned into a moving image that appears on a screen in real-time.

How is an ultrasound different from other scans?

While ultrasounds may not provide as detailed of an image as other scans, they have some advantages:

  • Real-time results which can help guide a doctor during surgical procedures
  • It’s quick and easy, and doesn’t usually require preparation
  • No radiation needed, unlike CT scans and X-rays
  • No magnets are used, unlike MRIs, making them safe for people with metal implants 

What can an ultrasound look for?

Ultrasounds have lots of uses. In particular, our consultants use pelvic ultrasounds.

A pelvic ultrasound can:

  • Look for abnormalities and diseases like cancer in the abdomen
  • Measure the size and location of body parts or tumours to help plan treatment
  • Guide instruments during a biopsy or other procedure

Bladder ultrasound

  • Checks how well the bladder drains, sometimes during a urine flow test
  • Checks for bladder stones or tumours or urethral strictures
  • Measures the shape and thickness of the bladder wall

Kidney ultrasound

  • To see how well blood flows through your kidneys
  • Looks for blockages, kidney stones or tumours
  • Measures the kidneys’ size and position

Prostate ultrasound

  • Checks for signs of prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate
  • Measures the size of your prostate to plan treatment

Why choose Birmingham Prostate Clinic?

We are a leading group of urological experts with a seamless patient pathway for personalised treatments for kidney, bladder and prostate conditions. 

Ultrasounds are just one of the many tools our consultants use diagnose common kidney, bladder and prostate conditions. Once we’ve confirmed a diagnosis, we can put you directly onto the right treatment pathway, with support from our expert multidisciplinary team at every step.

What to expect during an ultrasound

Ultrasound scans typically take 15 to 45 minutes. Here’s what happens:

  • You may be asked to drink extra water or stop eating before your scan
  • Wear loose clothes for easy access
  • You might need to drink a special dye or receive an injection to help your organs show up clearly on the scan
  • For an external ultrasound to look at your kidneys or bladder, a gel is applied to your stomach to ensure good contact between your skin and the probe
  • For internal ultrasounds to look at your prostate, a small, lubricated probe is gently inserted into the rectum – this may be uncomfortable, but not painful
  • The technician takes pictures as they go

When will you get your ultrasound results?

While ultrasound images are visible in real-time, they still need to be analysed carefully. Our consultants know how important it is to get answers quickly. They’ll usually schedule a follow-up appointment within a few days.

What are the risks of an ultrasound scan?

Having an ultrasound is safe and doesn’t have any known side effects. Unlike CT scans, it doesn’t use any radiation. 

If you have an injection of dye, you might temporarily feel dizzy, warm or have a headache.

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How can we help?

Get in touch with our friendly team to find out more about tests or treatment, or to book an appointment with an expert consultant near you.