Did you know that over 11 million ultrasounds are done each year in the United Kingdom? Many people associate ultrasound with pregnancy. Several medical conditions would necessitate an ultrasound.
Ultrasounds are an imaging tool that is incredibly valuable for healthcare professionals. Your doctor can use ultrasounds to look at various areas of the body. However, some people opt for a private ultrasound scan instead of going through their healthcare provider.
There are several reasons a person might choose to get a private ultrasound instead of going through the NHS. This guide will discuss what you need to know about getting an ultrasound scan in Glasgow.
What Are Private Ultrasound Scans?
Private ultrasound scans are ultrasounds scheduled with healthcare providers outside the NHS network. Sometimes the backlog for ultrasounds can be pretty lengthy.
Waiting too long for an ultrasound might result in late diagnostics. It can also lead to increased anxiety for many patients.
Getting a private ultrasound ensures you can get your results faster. You’ll also have more flexibility to schedule the private ultrasound around your schedule.
Another benefit of private ultrasounds is that you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can make the appointment yourself. You can also get same-day results in many locations.
What’s an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound imaging test utilises high-intensity sound waves to look inside your body. Other terms for ultrasounds include ultrasonography or sonography. The sound waves create real-time video or pictures of soft tissues or internal organs.
An ultrasound lets your healthcare provider see details of your internal organs without incisions. They differ from x-rays, which use radiation to see inside the body.
When you get an ultrasound, your healthcare provider will pass a probe or transducer inside of a body opening or over your body. Before they do that, they’ll apply gel to your skin. The gel enables the ultrasound waves transmitted from the device to enter your body.
As the device sends sound waves into your body, they bounce off various soft tissues and internal organs. The sound waves return to the device, converting them into electrical signals.
A computer is used to convert electrical signals into videos or pictures. These images get displayed on a nearby screen.
What Are the Types of Ultrasounds?
Ultrasounds can get broken up into three primary categories. These categories include:
- Diagnostic ultrasound
- Pregnancy ultrasound
- Procedural ultrasounds for guidance
Your healthcare provider will use diagnostic ultrasound to look at the internal areas of your body. They do this to see if an area is not working correctly.
This type of ultrasound can also help your doctor discover what’s causing different symptoms in your body. These symptoms can include:
- Abnormal blood tests
- Unexplained pain
During most diagnostic ultrasounds, the ultrasound technician will use a device outside your skin. On other occasions, they might have to put the device inside your body. This includes your rectum or vagina.
What type of diagnostic ultrasound you receive depends upon your symptoms. Common examples of diagnostic ultrasounds include:
- Kidney ultrasound
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Doppler ultrasound
- Thyroid ultrasound
- Transvaginal ultrasound
Your healthcare provider will typically use an obstetric or prenatal ultrasound during your pregnancy. These types of ultrasounds are used to:
- Check to see how many babies you’re pregnant with
- Confirm that you are pregnant
- Check the position and fetal growth of your baby
- Estimate the gestational age of your baby
- See the heart rate and movement of your baby
- Evaluate how much amniotic fluid you have
Healthcare providers typically conduct ultrasounds when a woman is 20 weeks pregnant. They can start tracking your unborn baby’s development and growth during pregnancy. An ultrasound can also determine your unborn baby’s biological sex.
Your healthcare provider might request additional pregnant ultrasounds. One reason why they might do this is to check for congenital conditions.
Procedural Ultrasounds for Guidance
Ultrasounds can help healthcare providers perform various procedures more precisely. One example of this type of ultrasound is to help a healthcare provider guide needle placement to get a sample of tissue or fluid from:
- Soft-tissue masses
- Fluid collections or cysts
- Transplant organs
These ultrasounds are also used during embryo transfer for IVF or to confirm the IUD placement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Private Ultrasound Scans
While getting an ultrasound can be intimidating, there’s nothing to worry about regarding the procedure. Let’s discuss some of the most commonly asked questions regarding private ultrasounds.
What’s the Cost of a Private Ultrasound Scan?
The cost of a private ultrasound scan depends upon a few factors. These factors include your health insurance coverage and what type of ultrasound you’re getting.
Below are the costs of some of the ultrasounds we offer:
- Well-woman scan: £195
- Pelvic and Transvaginal Scan: £150
- Abdominal Scan: £125
- Pelvic Scan: £125
- Scrotum and Testes Scan: £125
- MSK or Sports Injury Scan: £125
Does My Bladder Have to Be Full?
You’ll be required to have a full bladder for most pelvic ultrasounds. When your bladder is full, it pushes your uterus into the ideal position. It also brightens your pelvis so we can get a clear view of the ovaries and uterus.
Additionally, a full bladder will move your bowel and intestines out of the way. Your ultrasound technician will be mindful that your bladder is full during this ultrasound. They will typically let you go to the toilet once this portion of the ultrasound is complete.
What Should I Do Before My Appointment?
An ultrasound scan can take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. We recommend you wear comfortable, loose clothing. You might be required to change into a gown during your ultrasound.
If you’re required to have a full or empty bladder, we’ll let you know ahead of time. Some exams might require you to avoid drinking or eating for a certain length of time beforehand. We recommend scheduling these ultrasounds at the beginning of the day.
What Happens During a Private Ultrasound?
What happens during your appointment depends upon what area you’re getting scanned. As we said earlier, you might be asked to change into a gown.
Your scan typically starts with you laying on your back or side on a comfortable surface. The technician will apply gel to your skin in the area that’s getting scanned. The gel won’t stain your clothes or affect your skin.
The ultrasound technician will then move the device over the gel to look inside your body. They might ask you to hold your breath or be still for a few seconds. This enables them to get clearer images.
Once the ultrasound technician is done, they’ll wipe the remaining gel off your skin.
Are Ultrasounds Painful?
External ultrasounds are typically not painful.
You might experience discomfort if you have a full bladder during your procedure. You might also feel uncomfortable lying on the exam table if you’re pregnant.
Internal ultrasounds that go inside of your rectum or vagina might be uncomfortable. You shouldn’t experience any pain.
Your ultrasound technician has your comfort in mind. Let them know if you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort during your scan. They’ll do their best to make you feel at ease.
Schedule a Private Ultrasound Scan Today
Scheduling a private ultrasound scan ensures you get your results as quickly as possible. You can avoid the lengthy wait times you might encounter with the NHS. Get the information you and your healthcare provider need to move forward.
Have you been searching for an “ultrasound scan near me” without any luck finding a reputable provider? Contact Bothwell Medical Rooms or Core Clinic today to schedule a private ultrasound scan in Lanarkshire.