Frequently Asked Questions


What is an ultrasound scan?

Ultrasound is a non-invasive, completely painless and safe technique used for evaluating various areas including the upper abdominal organs, pelvis, leg veins, carotid arteries in the neck, thyroid gland and scrotum. It uses high frequency sound waves to make images of structures inside the body. Unlike other imaging modalities (x-rays, CT) it does not expose the patient to radiation.

A water soluble lubricant gel is applied to the skin of the area to be examined, to make contact between a hand held transducer / probe and your body. Sound waves are emitted from the transducer through the skin into the body part to be examined.  The waves are reflected or bounce off tissues or structures within like an echo.  The pattern of  reflected echoes are received back by the probe and analysed by a computer which generates an image of the structure and displays it on a monitor.  


Do I need a letter from my doctor in order to have an ultrasound scan?
Yes you will need a referral letter from your GP or referring consultant. This is necessary in order to provide details of your illness and any relevant previous tests.
What do I need to do to prepare for the ultrasound scan?
Abdominal Ultrasound:
If the scan is to examine your upper abdomen you will be required to have an empty stomach. This means nothing to eat for at least 6 hours before your scan.  A small amount of clear fluid and any prescribed medication is allowed.

Morning appointment:  fast overnight, starting from 10pm the previous night.
Afternoon appointment.  you can have a very light breakfast.

 Any medication should be taken as usual with a small amount of fluid.  

Pelvic Ultrasound:
If the scan is for the pelvis, you must drink 1 litre of water 1-2 hours before the scan and not pass water for 2 hours before the scan.
Sometimes you may have to wait and drink more water prior to the ultrasound scan if your bladder is not adequately filled for the study. 
Will my insurance cover the cost of the scan?
Normally insurance does not cover the cost of out-patient procedures such as ultrasound. However, depending on your insurance plan you may be able to reclaim some or all of the cost at the end of the year, if your total medical bills are over a certain excess 

Med 1
The Revenue Commissioners will allow you to claim through the Med 1 form at the end of the tax year.
How long will the examination take?
Normally the examination lasts 15-30 mins.  However, for pelvic scans you may be required to wait  if your bladder is not adequately filled when you are initially scanned.
Who will perform my scan?
 All Ultrasound scans at MEDSCAN are performed and reported by one of our two doctors. The doctors are Consultant Radiologists who specialise in ultrasound, each of whom has between 20-30 years experience in performing and reporting ultrasound.
When will my doctor receive the result of the scan?
Within 2 hours of completion of your examination, the result will be faxed to your doctor. In addition all results are posted on the same day to your doctor. 
Reports within
2 Hours

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