Ultrasound Exams

Preparing for Your Ultrasound Exam

Before

During

After

Results

What should I expect BEFORE my ultrasound exam?

Generally, it is requested that the patient not eat or drink for at least 6-8 hours prior to the exam (3-6 hours for pediatric patients), although, it is dependent upon the organ/system being imaged.

Preparation for a pelvic ultrasound varies depending upon the age of the patient and the reason for the exam. Pediatric patients should arrive with a full bladder. Patients scheduled for transvaginal Ultrasound procedures should be prepared for a gynecologic-like exam and are not required to have a full bladder. More detailed instructions, when applicable, should be given to you at the time the exam is scheduled. The procedure will also be explained in more detail by the sonographer performing the exam.

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What will I experience DURING my ultrasound exam?

Your sonographer will explain the procedure to you in more detail, however, exams typically consist of you lying on an examination table. Your registered sonographer will apply a small amount of water-soluble gel to the skin over the area to be examined.

A camera-like device called a transducer is applied to the skin and moved around as needed to visualize all areas requested by your physician. You may be asked to hold your breath briefly several times. The entire examination takes several minutes to complete.

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What should I expect AFTER my ultrasound exam?

You will not have any restrictions upon completion of most ultrasounds and may resume your normal activities. If you do have an ultrasound that has restrictions, you will be given specific instructions before you leave the department.

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Ultrasound Results

All exams are read by the Wake Forest University Health Science Radiologists trained in ultrasound imaging and dedicated to your specific body part scanned. They will read your exam within 24 hours, and the results will be sent to the doctor that ordered your exam. Your doctor will then discuss the results with you and what they mean in relation to your health. 

Quick Reference

Department of Radiology
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Last Updated: 04-09-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.