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An Ultrasound, also called a Sonography, uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of living tissues, blood vessels and organs inside your body. These images are captured and displayed on a computer screen showing the scan as a real-time video.

A small, handheld probe is used to receive the image by guiding it over the surface of your body. The returning sound waves then get reflected back to the probe, which are displayed in real-time on the monitor.

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It is a safe, reliable painless and radiation free examination. Different probes are used to ensure the best imaging for the body organ or structure being evaluated.It is often used as a first line investigation or screening examination.

Ultrasound waves cannot penetrate gas and bone. As such, ultrasound cannot be used to look deeply into joints, the lungs or gas containing bowel loops.

Booking your Ultrasound

  • Please remember to bring your medical aid card together with the signed request form from your referring doctor.
  • An appointment time will be given to you.

Preparing for your Ultrasound

  • Please arrive 20 minutes before the appointment time to complete paperwork.
  • Previous imaging, not done with Lake, Smit & Partners, must be brought with you to the appointment.
  • The examination takes approximately 20 minutes.
  • An Ultrasound Scan may require some preparation before the scan; you will be informed of this when making your booking.
  • For an Upper Abdomen Scan, do not eat or drink 6 hours before to the scan.
  • For a Pelvis, Bladder or Kidney Scan, your bladder must be full. This may require you to drink 6 cups of water before the scan. DO NOT go to the toilet before the scan. Please inform Reception if you do need to go to the toilet.
  • For Joint Scans (shoulder, ankle, elbow, wrist, knee), no preparation is required.

Abdomen including Gall bladder

  • Fast for 6 hours prior (usually no breakfast).
  • Only have small sips of water for any medication that you may be taking.
  • No tea or dairy products

Pelvis, Renal  scans & 1st Trimester Pregnancy

  • You will need a full bladder for this scan
  • 60 minutes prior to the appointment empty your bladder and then drink one litre of water (not coffee or tea), finishing the water at least one hour before the examination.
  • Do NOT empty your bladder until after the examination

Musculoskeletal /soft tissue

(any part of a limb, all joints, muscles)

  • None

Breast, eye, thyroid, penile, scrotum

  • None


  • Doppler veins (NONE)
  • Doppler Carotid, Leg & other arteries (NONE)
  • Doppler Aorta & Renal. (Fast 8 hours)

Injection, biopsy or FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration)

  • None

What to expect during your Ultrasound

  • You will be asked to lie on an examination bed.
  • An Ultrasonographer will preform the scan.
  • A device, known as a probe, will be used to do the scan.
  • To assist the Ultrasonographer with the scan, a warm gel-like substance will be applied to the skin first.
  • You could be asked to hold your breath during the scan and to roll onto your side.

A Doppler study is an extension of the ultrasound scan that assesses blood flow and the scan may be noisy while the blood vessels are being assessed. The preparation requirements for female pelvic ultrasounds vary according to age, stage of pregnancy or type of condition requiring investigation.

  • Women who are not pregnant and attending for a pelvic gynaecological scan need to have a full bladder, as do pregnant women in the first trimester (first three months).          
  • In addition, an internal or transvaginal examination may be requested by the referring doctor or required at the time of the examination for a closer view of pelvic organs, in particular the ovaries and endometrium (lining of the uterus). Even though an internal scan may be recommended, you naturally have a choice to refuse.

Are there any risks to consider?

There are no known risks in having a routine Ultrasound scan.

Waiting for your results

A report will be forwarded to your referring doctor, after the Radiologist has reviewed your Ultrasound images. The report could take approximately 1 hour.

Where can I have an Ultrasound?

St Augustine’s Hospital

107 JB Marks Road, Durban
Tel: 087 310 4984

Entabeni Hospital

148 Mazisi Kunene Road, Durban
Tel: 087 310 4983

Westville Hospital

7 Harry Gwala Road, Westville, 3630
Tel: 087 310 4982

Gateway Private Hospital

36-38 Aurora Drive, Umhlanga Rocks
Tel: 087 310 4985

Kingsway Hospital

607 Andrew Zondo Road, Amanzimtoti
Tel: 0873104980

Crompton Hospital

102 Crompton Street, Pinetown
Tel: 087 310 4981

Parklands Hospital

Hopelands Road, Overport
Tel: 087 310 4986


Digital Mammography Centre

A & T Medical Centre
2nd Floor, 22 Hopelands Road Overport
Tel: 087 310 4990



    07 / 11 / 18

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