What is an ultrasound scan?

An ultrasound scan is performed with the patient usually laying on their back.  An ultrasonographer will apply some "acoustic gel" over the area that needs to be scanned, and an ultrasound probe is used to create an image of the area of interest.  There is no radiation exposure associated with an ultrasound scan.

Diagnostic ultrasound uses sound waves that travel through the patient’s body.  As the sound waves travel through the body and pass between adjacent tissues or organs, a small proportion of the sound waves are reflected and are picked up by the same ultrasound probe that produced the initial sound waves.

The differences in reflected sound waves (their intensity and the time it takes for the sound wave to be reflected) are calculated by the ultrasound machine electronics and are then displayed on a screen to form a two-dimensional image.


Ultrasound Patient Preparation

There are a large number of ultrasound studies that can be performed looking at a multitude of organ systems and pathologies.  Depending on the type of study that needs to be performed, there may be no patient preparation, or there may be restrictions on the food and drink you may have before having your ultrasound scan.  Please refer to the patient information sheets provided below, or contact Gold Coast Radiology on (07) 5514 2555.


  • MRI
  • CT
  • X-Ray
  • Ultrasound
  • Mammography
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Bone Mineral Density
  • 24hr ECG Monitoring