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Diagnostic Ultrasound is a non-ionising imaging method that uses sound waves to produce images of structures within the body. These images provide valuable information for diagnosing a variety of diseases and conditions. Our radiographers use state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment to produce high quality diagnostic images while focusing on patient safety and comfort.

Some of the specialized Ultrasound examinations performed in SGH include:

  • Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound
    Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound imaging is the application of specialised ultrasound imaging techniques combined with non-nephrotoxic intravenous contrast medium, to visualise targeted areas such as those in the liver, kidney and aorta. This allows for real-time evaluation of lesion vascularity and thus characterization for diagnosis.
  • Elastography
    Elastography is an advanced imaging technique that measures tissue stiffness. It is currently utilised in musculoskeletal and liver imaging. It can be used for the evaluation of liver fibrosis, and assessment of tendons and superficial lesions.
  • Penile Doppler Ultrasound
    Penile Doppler ultrasound examination offers an extremely accurate means of assessing patients with erectile dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease. This examination objectively measures the blood flow in and out of the penis, and thus evaluates the causes of erectile dysfunction.

Things to note on day of appointment

Please refer to the Patient Preparation page for more information.

How to prepare for an Ultrasound examination?

Pre-scan preparations and fasting will vary according to the types of scan and the region that is to be scanned. Please refer to the Patient Preparation page for more information.

What happens during an Ultrasound examination?

You will be asked to lie down on the examination couch and the area of the body to be examined will be uncovered. A thick water soluble gel will be applied over the area under examination. The gel will feel slightly warm to touch.
The radiographer will place the Ultrasound probe over the gel and will move the probe over the area under examination. Instructions (such as turning to one side or holding your breath for a few seconds) will be given during the scan so that the Radiographer can achieve the clearest images.
Throughout the procedure, the room lights will be dimmed in order for the Radiographer to visualize the images on the monitor properly.
Upon completion of examination, the gel is wiped off and you will be able to leave the Department.
Ultrasound is usually painless. However, you may experience mild discomfort when the Radiographer is guiding the Ultrasound probe over your body, especially if you are required to have a full bladder, or inserts it into your body.

A typical ultrasound exam will take approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

What happens after an Ultrasound examination?

There is typically no special care required following an ultrasound. You will be able to return to normal activities immediately after an Ultrasound.

For specialised procedures, such as Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound and Penile Doppler Ultrasound, post-procedural instructions will be given by the Radiographer/Radiologist on the day of exam.

Our radiologists will read and report your US scan images. A report will then be sent to your referring clinician electronically, who will then discuss the scan results with you at your next appointment in the clinic.

What are the possible risks and limitations for an Ultrasound examination?

There is no radiation involved and the use of high frequency sounds waves in diagnostic Ultrasound has been deemed safe. There are no known immediate side effects or long-term effects. Pregnant women may undergo this procedure.
Certain factors or conditions may interfere with the results of the test. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Severe obesity
  • Intestinal gas
  • Inadequate filling of bladder (when required for examination)