An ultrasound scan is a specialist scan that uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the soft tissues and blood vessels of the body. At the NHNN we offer this service on an appointment-only basis, and only for specialist examinations such as Carotid Doppler and Echocardiography.

Please read your appointment letter for guidance on arrival time and eating and drinking before your scan.

Before your scan, the radiologist or nurse may ask you to change into a hospital gown, where necessary. Please feel free to bring your own dressing gown or metal-free clothing with you. The radiologist will verbally confirm if you are happy to proceed with your scan. If you do not wish to have the scan or are undecided, please inform the radiologist.

if you require an interpreter, please contact the Neuroradiology department.

You will be asked to lie down on a couch and the lights in the room will be dimmed so that the pictures on the screen can be seen more clearly. A small hand-held sensor is moved carefully over the surface of the skin to view these structures from different angles. A water-based gel is applied to the skin, which allows the sensor to move more easily over the skin; it also helps to give clearer pictures. The scans will usually only take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the area of your body being scanned.

There are no known risks from the sound waves used in an ultrasound scan.

Following your scan you will be able to go home. You can eat, drink and resume your normal activities straight away. Your scans will be reported by the neuroradiologist, and your results will be sent back to your referring clinician ahead of your next scheduled consultation.