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Ultrasound

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What to Expect


How to Prepare​​​​

  • ​Abdominal
    Do not eat or drink for five hours before your exam. If your appointment is in the afternoon, you may have a light non-dairy breakfast of dry toast and juice. This is especially important if you are a diabetic.
    If you need to take medication before your appointment, drink only a small amount of fluid to help swallow the medication.

  • Breast
    You don't have to make any preparation for this exam.

  • Carotid, Jugular, Vertebral
    This ultrasound shows us the major blood vessels in your neck. There is no preparation for this examination.

  • Lower Limb Venous
    There is no preparation for this examination.

  • Obstetric
    If you are in the 1st trimester of your pregnancy, do not urinate for one hour before the examination. You can eat and drink as you normally would. There is no preparation for 2nd and 3rd trimester scans.

  • Pelvic/TV and Renal Transplant
    These exams do not require fluid intake before the exam. Do not drink any fluids 4 hours before your appointment. This includes coffee and tea.
    Do not empty your bladder for 2 hours before your appointment. If you need to take medication before your appointment, drink only a small amount to help swallow the medication.

  • Scrotal
    This ultrasound shows us the testicles and other structures inside the scrotum. There is no preparation for this examination.

  • Thyroid
    There is no preparation for this examination.

  • Transrectal
    You may need to clean your rectum with a rectal fleet enema before the examination depending on your clinical procedure. You will be given preparation instructions when your appointment is booked.

  • Transvaginal
    This ultrasound gives us more detailed information about the inside of your pelvis and/or the fetus. This exam does not require fluid intake before the exam. Do not drink any fluids 4 hours before your appointment. This includes coffee and tea. Try not to go to the washroom for 2 hours before your exam. You will be asked to urinate just before the examination.

Checking In​​

When you arrive at the Medical Imaging Department, check in at the reception desk. The receptionist may ask you: ​​

  • For your Mount Sinai or Women's College Hospital card
  • For your health card (OHIP card)​, or another form of government issued photo ID, such as a passport or driver's license.

    If your appointment is at Mount Sinai Hospital or Women's College Hospital, you will need to allow extra time before your appointment to get a card for that hospital.

    Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment so that we can process your paperwork. If you are late, your appointment may be subject to re-scheduling. 

Before the Ultrasound​

The ultrasound technologist (also called a sonographer) will call you when it's time for your scan. You'll then be asked to change into a hospital gown.

During and After the Ultrasound​​

You'll be asked to lie down, and the ultrasound technologist or radiologist will apply a clear water-based gel to the part of your body being scanned. The ultrasound technologist or radiologist firmly rubs an ultrasound probe back and forth over the area until all the pictures are taken.

Please note: for transvaginal or transrectal examinations, the ultrasound probe is covered with a disposable cover before the probe is placed inside the vagina or rectum. For transvaginal examinations, the ultrasound probe can be inserted into the vagina by the patient, sonographer or radiologist.

​The Results of Your Ultrasound​​

The radiologist may or may not come into the room to examine you.  Within a few days, however, the radiologist will write a report on what was found in your ultrasound images and send it to your electronic health record. Once it's in your health record, your doctor can then review the report and give you the results.

Please keep in mind that the ultrasound technologist can't give you the results when your scan is finished.