Common reasons to have an ultrasound

Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, is a non-invasive technique used to take pictures of your internal organs to help diagnose the symptoms you have been experiencing.

No x-rays or any type of ionising radiation is involved therefore it’s considered safer than other types of imaging. 

An ultrasound works via a small device called an ultrasound probe, which gives off high-frequency sound waves. You can’t hear the sound waves, but when they bounce off different parts of the body, they create “echoes” that are picked up by the probe and turned into a moving image which is displayed on a monitor while the scan is carried out.

There are different kinds of ultrasound scans, depending on which part of the body is being scanned and why. The three main types of ultrasounds include:

  • An external ultrasound scan – the probe is moved over the skin
  • An internal ultrasound scan – the probe is inserted into the body
  • An endoscopic ultrasound scan – the probe is attached to a long, thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) and passed further into the body

The main reasons you may have an ultrasound are to examine…

  1. An unborn baby in your womb
  2. Your heart and other vital organs such as your liver or kidney
  3. Your prostate gland, ovaries, or womb 
  4. Your stomach or oesophagus

By using ultrasound technology, your sonographer will be able to focus their attention on specific areas of your body and have a look at what’s going on. Many people are referred for ultrasound scans by their GP, but this isn’t a necessary step if you are looking for a quick assessment for your symptoms, to ease your mind.

However, you might like to book a consultation with one of our private GPs who will be able to advise you about different types of scans and how they may be beneficial for your own diagnosis. 

Most ultrasound scans last between 15 and 45 minutes. They usually take place in a hospital radiology department and are performed either by a radiologist or a sonographer.

They can also be carried out in community locations such as GP practices, and may be performed by other healthcare professionals, such as midwives or physiotherapists who have been specially trained in ultrasound.

We now offer ultrasounds at our Manchester clinic based on King’s Street. To find out about ultrasound scans at Pall Mall and to book an appointment, please visit our website

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