An ultrasound examination is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to view soft tissue organs within your body. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to visualize your organs within the body. High-frequency sound waves (not audible to the human ear) are sent into your body and reflected back to the ultrasound camera to produce an image composed of various shades of grey.
There are no known side effects from ultrasound and this is why it is an excellent tool to image the fetus. Ultrasound has many other applications; it can be used for general body imaging, obstetrical and gynaecological exams, paediatric imaging, musculoskeletal examinations, and it aids in biopsy procedures.
The ultrasound examination will be performed by a technologist who is specialized in ultrasound imaging and is more formally known as a sonographer. All of the sonographers who work at Oak Valley Health have completed qualifying exams and are registered with Sonography Canada (CRS) and/or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDMS). To learn more about this health professional, see Sonography Canada.ca – Role of a sonographer.
Our expert staff specialists, employing ultrasound equipment and techniques, will ensure that we provide you with the best diagnostic assessment to support you and your doctor.
To have an ultrasound, your doctor needs to fill out a referral form. Download ultrasound referral form.
Learn more about making an appointment and coming to our hospitals.
Before Your Ultrasound
Please review the general Patient Preparation Instructions form and look for the kind of ultrasound you are having.
To find out more instructions and preparations, see our ultrasound brochure.
During Your Ultrasound
An ultrasound study begins by applying a water-soluble gel to the area of the body being scanned. This gel permits the sound waves to be “seen” as they travel from the transducer (or probe) through the body tissue, while this probe is passed along the skin. The reflected sound waves return to the transducer and an image is created based on the speed of the returning sound waves as they travel through the body.
For obstetrical examinations, the sonographer must first ensure all imaging is thorough and without distractions, before the family may be invited in to view the ultrasound images of the baby. We appreciate these exciting times and want our patients to share this special experience with their loved ones after the diagnostic examination has been completed. You may purchase a CD of your obstetrical ultrasound which includes images of your baby for $10 (cash only).
Frequently Asked Questions About Ultrasound
An ultrasound is a very safe way to get a clear image of soft tissues. It is a diagnostic tool which does not use ionizing radiation which is why it is the preferred tool for monitoring pregnancy.
No, there is little to no pain associated with having an ultrasound. It may be mildly uncomfortable during the visit in some instances (e.g., when your bladder is full and you have to hold off from peeing before imaging is completed), but it should not be painful.