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Home  / General Services  / Ultrasound

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a medical imaging technique that uses inaudible, high frequency sound waves to form images of the body's internal organs and tissues.

Description:

Ultrasound is a medical imaging technique that uses inaudible, high frequency sound waves to form images of the body's internal organs and tissues. The sound waves are transmitted into your body using a small handheld transducer or probe, reflected off organs and other structures back to the probe, and converted into an image for display by a computer. Ultrasound images are displayed in real time, which means that the movement of organs, babies and even blood flow can be visualized and assessed.

Although ultrasound is most commonly associated with babies and pregnancies, it can be used to assess many structures in the body, some of which include (but are not limited to):

  • Abdominal organs (liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, stomach)
  • Pelvic organs (kidneys, bladder, uterus, ovaries)
  • Thyroid and parathyroid glands
  • Scrotum (testicles)
  • Breasts
  • Arteries and veins
  • Obstetrics (All stages of a developing pregnancy including Nuchal translucency genetic screening exam)
  • Appendix, hernias and other lumps and bumps
  • Heart

Most of the ultrasound exams above are also available for children, including the following pediatric only exams:

  • Hip dislocation/dysplasia
  • Cranium (head and brain)
  • Spine
  • Pyloric stenosis (stomach)

Types of Exams:

2D/3D/4D Real Time Exams

Technological advances in ultrasound allows us to image organs and structures in 2D, 3D or 4D (real time), which means that we can image a baby’s face in the womb and it is even possible to see your baby smile or yawn.

Doppler

An ultrasound technology that can be used to assess the blood flowing in your veins and arteries in order to detect blockages or clots. If your technologist uses Doppler, you will hear a gentle “whooshing” sound (like a heart beat) coming from the machine.

Interventional procedures

These include various types of biopsies, pain injections or fluid aspirations (drainage) where the needle placement is viewed in real time on an ultrasound machine to ensure accurate placement. In certain cases, biopsies may be available the same day to provide expedited results and optimal continuity of care for our patients

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram (also called an Echo) is an ultrasound examination performed to assess the various components of your heart. The ultrasound images will show the size, shape, texture and movement of your heart muscles, the different heart valves, as well as the size of your heart chambers and how well they are working. *Only available at CDC North Town



What to Expect

We make it a priority to ensure that you are at ease during your ultrasound exam.

  • Complete the necessary medical forms obtained from front desk staff.
  • Canada Diagnostic Centres provides private and secure change rooms (at most locations).
  • Comfortable two piece scrubs will be provided for you to change into (at most locations). You may be asked to remove your jewelry.
  • One of our friendly technologists will take you to the exam room and position you on a padded table.
  • Warm, water based gel will be applied to your skin to help improve the quality of the pictures and a small handheld transducer or probe will be moved over the area of interest.

Ultrasound is typically painless unless you are already experiencing pain or tenderness at the exam site.

Ultrasound Details

Abdominal Ultrasound

Abdominal ultrasound is used to assess the internal organs located within the abdomen. Common reasons include pain or tenderness or abnormal blood work.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your abdomen to obtain the required images to assess your abdominal organs and tissues. The abdominal organs include the aorta, inferior vena cava pancreas, gallbladder and associated bile ducts, liver, kidneys and spleen.
  • You may be asked to perform simple tasks to improve the quality of the images obtained such as holding your breath, blowing all your breath out, laying on your side, sitting or standing.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your abdomen or ribcage to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore anywhere, please let the technologist know.
  • The exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete.
  • Please note: this exam is not affected if you are menstruating on the day of the test and can still be completed.

Liver Doppler or Portal Hypertension Ultrasound

Liver Doppler or portal hypertension ultrasound is commonly ordered in addition to an abdominal ultrasound to assess the liver in patients who have a chronic liver condition (cirrhosis or hepatitis), liver transplant or liver shunt patients and patients who have abnormal blood work.

  • This exam follows the same protocols as an abdominal ultrasound but with additional images and investigation of the blood flow within the veins and arteries supplying the liver and spleen using a process known as “Doppler”.
  • Please note: the machine will emit noise while performing this part of the exam and this is normal.
  • The exam including abdominal ultrasound takes 40 minutes to complete.
  • Please note: this exam is not affected if you are menstruating on the day of the test and can still be completed.

Kidneys, Ureter, Bladder (KUB) Ultrasound, Male or Female

Kidneys, ureters and bladder ultrasounds are used to assess the urinary tract and associated organs. Common causes for this exam include multiple bladder infections, kidney stones and incontinence or urgency.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site, then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your lower abdomen and pelvis to obtain the required images to assess your kidneys, ureters, bladder and prostate gland (if applicable).
  • Your bladder will be assessed while it is full, you will then be asked to empty your bladder at the end of the exam so it may be imaged when empty.
  • Please note: it is important to follow the preparation instructions for this exam as the bladder cannot be seen or assessed if it is not full at the start of your exam.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your pelvis to acquire diagnostic images. You may feel increased pressure or the sensation of urgency while the probe is moved over your bladder which is normal.
  • The exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete.
  • Please note: this exam is not affected if you are menstruating on the day of the test and can still be completed.

Female Pelvic Ultrasound

Female pelvic ultrasound is used to assess the pelvic and reproductive organ as well as the urinary tract. This exam is commonly ordered if you are experiencing pelvic pain, infertility or changes in your menstrual cycle and to check the position of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) after insertion.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your lower abdomen and pelvis to obtain the required images to assess your kidneys, ureters, bladder, uterus, cervix, ovaries and surrounding area.
  • A full bladder is required at the start of this exam as it improves the visibility of the pelvic organs and allows the bladder to be fully assessed. Once the required images are obtained you will be able to use the washroom.
  • Please note: it is important to follow the preparation instructions for this exam as the bladder cannot be seen or assessed if it is not full at the start of your exam.
  • If needed, an endovaginal or internal ultrasound will be completed with your consent. After you have used the washroom to empty your bladder, a small probe is inserted into the vagina and moved side to side or rotated. As this camera is much closer to the pelvic organs, the pictures produced are of a very high quality. The technologist will explain the procedure to you in more detail and answer any questions you may have at the time of the exam.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your pelvis to acquire diagnostic images. You may feel increased pressure or the sensation of urgency while the probe is moved over your bladder which is normal.
  • The exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete.
  • Please note: this exam is not affected if you are menstruating on the day of the test and can still be completed.

Male Pelvic Ultrasound

Male pelvic ultrasound is commonly ordered to assess the size of the prostate or when the patient has difficulty emptying their bladder fully.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your lower abdomen and pelvis to obtain the required images to assess your kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate gland and surrounding area.
  • A full bladder is required at the start of this exam as it improves the visibility of the pelvic organs and allows the bladder to be fully assessed. Once the required images are obtained you will be able to use the washroom.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your pelvis to acquire diagnostic images. You may feel increased pressure or the sensation of urgency while the probe is moved over your bladder which is normal.
  • The exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete.

Scrotal (Testicular) Ultrasound

Scrotal ultrasound may be requested by your physician when you experience changes in your testicles or scrotum. These changes can include lumps, pain, tenderness, hardness or swelling and infertility.

  • You will be covered with a drape or sheet, only the testicles and scrotal sac need to be exposed during the exam.
  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site, then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across the scrotum to obtain the required images to assess the scrotal sac, testicles, epididymis and surrounding structures. This exam also assesses the blood flow within your testicles using a process known as “Doppler”.
  • Please note: the machine will emit noise while performing this part of the exam and this is normal.
  • The technologist may ask you to find, point to, or show them the area of concern, especially if you are having pain or can feel a lump. This allows us to ensure all areas have been thoroughly assessed.
  • The exam itself is not painful; however pressure may be applied to testicles to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore, please let your technologist know.
  • The exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete.

Thyroid or Salivary Gland Ultrasound

Thyroid or salivary gland ultrasound is used to assess these glands when you or your physician feels a change in your neck or your blood work is abnormal.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across the front of the neck, under the jaw or in front of the ears to obtain the required images of the thyroid gland, the submandibular and parotid (salivary) glands, lymph nodes and surrounding structures.
  • The exam itself is not painful and only very mild pressure will be applied to the neck to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore, please let your technologist know.
  • The exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete.

Venous Ultrasound of the leg or arm

Venous Ultrasound of the leg or arm is used to check the veins in the limbs when your physician suspects a blood clot (also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT). This is considered an urgent exam.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across the limb to obtain the required images of the veins, blood flow and surrounding structures. This exam also assesses the blood flow within your veins using a process known as “Doppler”.
  • Please note: the machine will emit noise while performing this part of the exam and this is normal.
  • This test can be painful if your limbs are particularly sore or swollen as the technologist must apply enough pressure to compress the vein momentarily at various points throughout your leg or arm. While this may not be comfortable, it does not cause any damage and is the best way of assessing a vein for a blood clot. The technologist may also quickly squeeze your calf in order to change the blood flow within the veins to assess for normal flow.
  • The exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete one limb, 40 minutes for both limbs.

Carotid Ultrasound

Carotid ultrasound is used to assess the arteries and vessels that supply blood to the head and brain for any blockages or narrowing which can cause stroke-like symptoms.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across the sides of your neck and lower jaw to obtain the required images of the blood vessels, blood flow and surrounding structures. This exam also assesses the blood flow within your arteries using a process known as “Doppler”.
  • Please note: the machine will emit noise while performing this part of the exam and this is normal.
  • The exam itself is not painful, and only very mild pressure will be applied to the neck to acquire diagnostic images. Occasionally the technologist will have to angle the probe under your jaw to visualize the blood vessels in your upper neck, this discomfort only lasts a couple of minutes but is required to obtain the images we need to make a diagnosis. If you are tender or sore, please let your technologist know.
  • The exam may take up to 50 minutes to complete.

Arterial Leg and ABI Ultrasound

Arterial leg and ABI ultrasound is used to assess the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet for any blockages or narrowing.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across the sides of your neck and lower jaw to obtain the required images of the blood vessels, blood flow and surrounding structures. This exam also assesses the blood flow within your arteries using a process known as “Doppler”.
  • Please note: the machine will emit noise while performing this part of the exam and this is normal.
  • The technologist will also take blood pressure readings from both of your arms and from two spots on each foot and ankle. Certain medical conditions and severe leg swelling may cause discomfort when the blood pressure cuff is inflated however this is an important component of the exam and diagnosis. If you are tender or sore, please let your technologist know.
  • If required, the technologist will also assess the arteries and blood flow in the lower abdomen and pelvis that supplies the legs.
  • The exam may take up to one hour to complete.

Miscellaneous, Lumps and Bumps Ultrasound

Miscellaneous, lumps and bumps ultrasound is used to exam any area of the body that your physician feels and ultrasound exam would be beneficial. These usually include unexplained bumps or lumps felt under the skin, areas of inflammation or pain and lymph nodes in the neck.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across area of concern to obtain the required images of the lump or bump in question and the surrounding area.
  • You may be asked to sit or lay on the exam bed in the position where the area to be examined can be most easily accessed.
  • The technologist may ask you to find, point to, or show them the area of concern, especially if you are having pain or can feel a lump. This allows us to ensure all areas have been thoroughly assessed. The technologist may also need to touch or feel this area as well to ensure that appropriate diagnostic images are obtained.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to the area being examined to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore anywhere, please let the technologist know.
  • The exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete.

Renal Artery (Kidney) Ultrasound

Renal artery ultrasound is used to look for causes of high blood pressure or hypertension. This exam checks the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys for any blockages or narrowing.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your abdomen to obtain the required images to assess both kidneys. This exam also assesses the blood flow within the arteries supplying the kidneys using a process known as “Doppler”.
  • Please note: the machine will emit noise while performing this part of the exam and this is normal.
  • You may be asked to perform simple tasks to improve the quality of the images obtained, such as holding your breath, blowing all your breath out, laying on your side, sitting or standing.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your abdomen or ribcage to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore anywhere, please let the technologist know.
  • The exam may take up to 40 minutes to complete.

Breast and Axilla Ultrasound

Breast and axilla ultrasound may be requested by your physician when you experience changes in your breasts. These changes can include lumps, pain, tenderness, hardness or redness or discharge from the nipple. Ultrasound can be performed alone or in addition to a mammogram.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your breast and axilla (armpit) to obtain the required images to assess your breast and surrounding area.
  • You may be asked to sit or lay on the exam bed in the position where the area to be examined can be most easily accessed.
  • The technologist may ask you to find, point to, or show them the area of concern, especially if you are having pain or can feel a lump. This allows us to ensure all areas have been thoroughly assessed. The technologist may also need to touch or feel this area as well to ensure that appropriate diagnostic images are obtained.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your abdomen or ribcage to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore anywhere, please let the technologist know.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before you are allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan you themselves. This is so the doctor can ensure accuracy in their medical reporting, especially when comparing many previous exams to one another.
  • The exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete for one breast, 40 minutes for both breasts.
  • If you are booked for multiple exams such as a mammogram and breast ultrasound, your total time at the clinic will be 90 – 120 minutes.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal ultrasound is ordered if your physician suspects you have arthritis or you have injured or torn a muscle, tendon or ligament. This exam can also identify areas of inflammation or pockets of fluid around joints. Common areas to be examined include: shoulders, elbows, wrists (carpal tunnel syndrome), hands and fingers, hips, knees, ankles, Achilles tendon, feet and toes.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your breast and axilla (armpit) to obtain the required images to assess your breast and surrounding area.
  • You may be asked to sit or lay on the exam bed in the position where the area to be examined can be most easily accessed.
  • You may be asked to perform simple tasks to improve the quality of the images obtained such as moving or holding your arm in various positions, bending your knee or elbow etc.
  • Some MSK exams may require an x-ray to be taken of the area before your ultrasound exam; you will be advised if this is the case.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild pressure may be applied to the area being examined to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore anywhere, please let the technologist know.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before you are allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan you themselves due to the complexity of these exams.
  • This exam may take 30-50 minutes to complete depending on area(s) being examined.

Hernia Ultrasound

Hernia ultrasound is used to examine the abdominal wall and inguinal (groin) areas for suspected hernias. You may notice a lump that changes size, may cause pain or only appears in certain positions or with certain activities (i.e. coughing or heavy lifting).

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your abdomen, pelvis or groin to obtain the required images to assess for a hernia.
  • The technologist may ask you to find, point to, or show them the area of concern, especially if you are having pain or can feel a lump. This allows us to ensure all areas have been thoroughly assessed. The technologist may also need to touch or feel this area as well to ensure that appropriate diagnostic images are obtained.
  • You may be asked to perform simple tasks to improve the quality of the images obtained such as flexing your stomach muscles, doing a sit up, standing up or whatever activity causes the suspected hernia to occur.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your abdomen, pelvis or groin to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore anywhere, please let the technologist know.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before you are allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan you themselves due to the complexity of these exams.
  • The exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete one area or side-40 minutes for both sides or two areas.

Appendix Ultrasound

Appendix ultrasound is performed when your physician suspects you may have appendicitis or inflammation of the appendix.This is considered an urgent exam.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your lower abdomen to obtain the required images to assess appendix and surrounding bowel and tissues.
  • This test can be painful or uncomfortable as mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your abdomen to acquire diagnostic images. If you are tender or sore anywhere, please let the technologist know.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before you are allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan you themselves due to the complexity of these exams.
  • This exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete.

Obstetrical Ultrasounds

Please note: for all obstetrical exams:

  • One adult companion is allowed in the exam room with the patient from the start of the exam. Other companions and children are allowed in the room after the medically necessary portion is completed.
  • The use of cell phone cameras or video cameras is not permitted within the clinic due to privacy concerns.

Nuchal Translucency (NT) Ultrasound

Nuchal translucency ultrasound is a genetic screening test used to calculate the odds of your baby having a chromosomal abnormality, most commonly Down’s syndrome (Trisomy 21). This test is only valid if performed between 11 weeks to 13 weeks and 6 days of gestational age. A small fold of skin at the back of baby’s neck is imaged and measured in this exam.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your lower abdomen to obtain the required images to assess the Nuchal Translucency of your baby.
  • You may be asked to sit or lie on the exam bed or change your position in an attempt to better view baby.
  • It is normal to not obtain the test measurement on the first appointment due to the baby’s position or age; you may have to be rebooked for another attempt.
  • Please note: gender cannot be determined at this early stage of development.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your pelvis to acquire diagnostic images. You may feel increased pressure or the sensation of urgency while the probe is moved over your bladder which is normal.
  • The exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Echocardiogram Ultrasound

An Echocardogram may be used to assess a variety of heart conditions such as heart murmurs, damage to heart muscle in those who have had a heart attack, and infections in the heart. It may also be recommended if you are experiencing abnormal heart sounds, shortness of breath, palpitations, angina (chest pain) or have a history of stroke or high blood pressure. It is very useful in diagnosing heart valve problems.

Echocardiography is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests for the heart, and has become routinely used in the diagnosis, management and follow-up of patients with known or suspected heart diseases.

  • Once you arrive for your appointment, you will be given a gown to wear, and the technologist will ask you a few questions regarding their height and weight and some their heart health.
  • Afterwards, you will be asked to lay on your side on a comfortable exam stretcher and 3 small leads will be placed discretely on their chest to monitor their heart rate and rhythm during the exam.
  • The ultrasound technologist will then apply a small amount of gel on your chest to help transmit the sound waves and a transducer (ultrasound camera) is moved over your chest to view the heart from specific areas.
  • The exam generally takes between 30-60 minutes, and there is little to no discomfort during the procedure. You will hear many sounds coming from the ultrasound machine during the exam as the technologist assesses the blood flow through the different areas of your heart.

1st Trimester Obstetrical (Dating) Ultrasound

1st trimester obstetrical ultrasound is frequently ordered to confirm whether a patient is pregnant, to check the age and progress of an early pregnancy, or to rule out miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy if a patient is experiencing pain or bleeding.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your lower abdomen or pelvis to obtain the required images to assess the age and growth of your baby.
  • At 5 weeks of age you may see signs of an early pregnancy and associated structures. It can be normal to NOT see a fetal heart beat at this point. You may be referred back for another ultrasound to more accurately date the pregnancy when the structures are better visualized.
  • At 6 weeks of age, a fetal heart beat can be seen in approximately 50% of pregnancies. This means it can be normal to NOT see a fetal heart beat yet. You may be referred back for another ultrasound to more accurately date the pregnancy when the structures are better visualized.
  • At 7 weeks of age a small embryo with a fetal heart beat can usually be seen.
  • Please note: gender cannot be determined at this early age.
  • If needed, an endovaginal or internal ultrasound will be completed with your consent. After you have used the washroom to empty your bladder, a small probe is inserted into the vagina and moved side to side or rotated. As this camera is much closer to the pelvic organs, the pictures produced are of a very high quality and very detailed. The technologist will explain the procedure to you in more detail and answer any questions you may have at the time of the exam.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your pelvis to acquire diagnostic images. You may feel increased pressure or the sensation of urgency while the probe is moved over your bladder which is normal.
  • The exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete.

2nd Trimester Obstetrical (Detailed) Ultrasound

2nd trimester obstetrical ultrasound is ordered to provide your physician with a detailed physical assessment of your unborn baby and is usually completed between 18-20 weeks gestation. Baby’s position, growth and development are also checked, as well as the volume of the amniotic fluid and the position and condition of the placenta and cervix.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your lower abdomen or pelvis to obtain the required images to assess the age and growth of your baby.
  • Please note: this is an important medical exam to check on the development and well-being of your unborn baby. Please allow the technologist who is performing this important exam to focus and concentrate on the health of your baby.
  • It is normal not to obtain all images or test measurements on the first appointment due to the baby’s position or movement; you may have to be rebooked to obtain the remaining images.
  • We will only determine the gender of the baby if you wish to know. Fetal age and position during the exam may mean that the gender will not be seen.
  • If needed, an endovaginal or internal ultrasound will be completed with your consent. After you have used the washroom to empty your bladder, a small probe is inserted into the vagina and moved side to side or rotated. As this camera is much closer to the pelvic organs, the pictures produced are of a very high quality and very detailed. The technologist will explain the procedure to you in more detail and answer any questions you may have at the time of the exam.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your pelvis to acquire diagnostic images. You may feel increased pressure or the sensation of urgency while the probe is moved over your bladder which is normal.
  • At your request, Canada Diagnostic Centres offers a complimentary picture of your baby at the end of your exam or you may wish to purchase a CD of exam images for a fee.
  • 3D/4D ultrasound can be attempted if baby is in a favorable position, time permitting. The majority of your exam and all diagnostic images will be performed in 2D.
  • The exam may take up to 50 minutes to complete.

3rd Trimester Obstetrical (Biophysical Profile or “BPP”) Ultrasound

3rd trimester obstetrical ultrasound is typically completed towards the end of a pregnancy and is used to check that baby is growing, developing and moving appropriately for its gestational age. It can also be used to confirm your baby’s position within the uterus (i.e. head down, breech presentation etc.).

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your lower abdomen or pelvis to obtain the required images to assess the age and growth of your baby.
  • Please note: the machine will emit noise while performing this part of the exam and this is normal.
  • Please note: this is an important medical exam to check on the development and well-being of your unborn baby. Please allow the technologist who is performing this important exam to focus and concentrate on the health of your baby.
  • If needed, an endovaginal or internal ultrasound will be completed with your consent. After you have used the washroom to empty your bladder, a small probe is inserted into the vagina and moved side to side or rotated. As this camera is much closer to the pelvic organs, the pictures produced are of a very high quality and very detailed. The technologist will explain the procedure to you in more detail and answer any questions you may have at the time of the exam.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to moderate pressure may be applied to your pelvis to acquire diagnostic images. You may feel increased pressure or the sensation of urgency while the probe is moved over your bladder which is normal.
  • Depending on the findings of your exam, the onsite radiologist may refer you for another medical test called a “non-stress test” to ensure the health of your unborn baby. This exam is typically completed at the nearest hospital. More details will be provided to you at the time of your ultrasound if this exam is required.
  • At your request, Canada Diagnostic Centres offers a complimentary picture of your baby at the end of your exam or you may wish to purchase a CD of exam images for a fee.
  • The exam may take up to 40 minutes to complete.

Pediatric Hip Ultrasound

Pediatric hip ultrasound is performed when your obstetrician suspects that your young or newborn baby may have developmental dysplasia of the hip(s) or DDH. In this condition, one or both of the upper leg bones do not fit securely into the hip socket which allows for instability of the joint or dislocation. This exam must be completed between 6 to 16 weeks of age.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across the baby’s hips and upper legs.
  • The baby will be required to lay on their back or side during the exam. At certain points during the exam the technologist may need to stretch, bend or push on the babies legs to assess the hip joint, this is an important component of the exam and diagnosis.
  • Please note: feeding the infant before or during the examination can increase comfort and cooperation.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before you are allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan your infant themselves due to the complexity of these exams.
  • This exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Pediatric Spine Ultrasound

Pediatric spinal ultrasound may be requested by your obstetrician to rule out certain brain, nerve and spinal defects if your baby is born with a lump, tuft of hair, or skin dimple along the middle of its back. It is usually completed between birth and 3 months of age.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your babies back and tailbone area.
  • The baby will lay on their stomach or side during the exam, or alternatively, a parent can hold the baby face down in their arms or lap.
  • Please note: feeding the infant before or during the examination can increase comfort and cooperation.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before you are allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan your infant themselves due to the complexity of these exams.
  • This exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Pediatric Cranial Ultrasound

Pediatric cranial ultrasound is ordered by obstetricians and pediatricians to assess a young babies head and brain for a wide variety of conditions. Common causes are lumps, fluid around the brain (hydrocephalus), suspected small bleeds in the brain tissues, cysts and abnormal head shape or size. This exam is usually completed shortly after birth up until the bones of the skull become fused.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a small handheld transducer (probe) across the front, sides and back of your baby’s head to obtain the required images to assess the brain and skull.
  • Your child will lay on their back for the exam; alternatively, if your child is very young, you may hold them in your arms on their back.
  • Please note: feeding the infant before or during the examination can increase comfort and cooperation.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before you are allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan your infant themselves due to the complexity of these exams.
  • This exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Pediatric Pyloric Stenosis Ultrasound

Pediatric pyloric ultrasound is commonly ordered by obstetricians and pediatricians to assess the muscles in your baby’s stomach and digestive tract for an area of thickening (which can cause projectile vomiting and weight loss). This exam is completed between 2 weeks and 3 months of age.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your child's abdomen to obtain the required images to assess your child's abdominal organs and tissues.
  • Your child will lay on their back for the exam; alternatively, if your child is very young, you may hold them in your arms on their back.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before you are allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan your infant themselves due to the complexity of these exams.
  • This exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Pediatric Renal Ultrasound

Pediatric renal ultrasound may be requested by your obstetrician or pediatrician to check the shape, size and position of the kidneys, to check for any blockages in the urinary tract or to find the cause of urinary tract infections.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your child's abdomen and pelvis to obtain the required images to assess their kidneys, ureters, bladder and prostate gland if applicable.
  • Depending on your child's age, their bladder will be assessed while it is full; they will then be asked to empty their bladder at the end of the exam and it is also imaged empty.
  • Please note: it is important to follow the preparation instructions for this exam as the bladder cannot be seen or assessed if it is not full at the start of the exam. You will be given specific preparation instructions to follow at the time you make your child's appointment.
  • This exam may take up to 25 minutes to complete.

Pediatric Breast Ultrasound

Pediatric breast ultrasound may be requested by your obstetrician or pediatrician to assess the breast tissue in both females and males for lumps, pain, or abnormal development. Abnormal development includes early development of breast tissue in females and any breast tissue development in males (known as gynecomastia).

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your child's breast and axilla (armpit) to obtain the required images to assess the breast and surrounding area.
  • Your child will lay on their back for the exam; alternatively, if your child is very young, you may hold them in your arms on their back.
  • The technologist may ask you or your child to find, point to, or show them the area of concern, especially if they are having pain or can feel a lump. This allows us to ensure all areas have been thoroughly assessed. The technologist may also need to touch or feel this area as well to ensure that appropriate diagnostic images are obtained.
  • Often as part of normal procedure, the ultrasound images will be reviewed by the onsite radiologist before your child is allowed to leave. It is also normal for the radiologist to want to take additional ultrasound images or to scan themselves. This is so the doctor can ensure accuracy in their medical reporting, especially when comparing many previous exams to one another.
  • The exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete for one breast, 40 minutes for both breasts.
  • If you are booked for multiple exams such as a mammogram and breast ultrasound, your total time at the clinic will be 90 – 120 minutes.

Pediatric Abdominal Ultrasound

Pediatric abdominal ultrasound is used to assess the internal organs located within the abdomen. Common reasons include pain or tenderness or abnormal blood work.

  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the exam site then slide and rotate a handheld transducer (probe) across your child's abdomen to obtain the required images to assess your child's abdominal organs and tissues. The abdominal organs include the aorta, inferior vena cava pancreas, gallbladder and associated bile ducts, liver, kidneys and spleen.
  • Depending on your child's age, they may be asked to perform simple tasks to improve the quality of the images obtained such as holding their breath, blowing their breath out, lying on their side, sitting or standing.
  • Depending on your child's age, they may be required to fast or not eat or drink for a certain amount of time before their exam, this helps to improve image quality. You will be given specific exam preparation instructions to follow at the time you make your child's appointment.
  • The exam itself is not painful however mild to pressure may be applied to their abdomen or ribcage to acquire diagnostic images.
  • The exam may take up to 30 minutes to complete.

Ultrasound guided interventional procedures

Ultrasound guided procedures are offered at select Canada Diagnostic Clinics. Whether your physician requests a biopsy or a pain injection, CDC is able to accommodate their requests via our highly trained radiologists and technologists who are experienced in the following types of interventional procedures:

  • Cyst and fluid aspirations: Ganglion cysts (most commonly in the wrist and ankle) as well as Bakers Cysts (behind the knee) are the most common areas of fluid to be drained. These may be done in conjunction with a cortisone injection to assist with healing.
  • Cortisone injections: can occur in many places throughout the body, most commonly into the covering of the tendons in the ankles and wrists, but also muscles and joint spaces.
  • Biopsies: breast lesions and lymph nodes in the neck and arm pit are most common.
  • Fine needle aspiration: commonly used to biopsy a lesion or abnormal tissues of the thyroid gland.

These exams require special preparation which will be provided at the time you book your appointment. You will be asked to sign a consent form and the procedure will be explained in greater detail to you at the time of your appointment. In certain cases, biopsies may be available the same day to provide expedited results and optimal continuity of care for our patients.



Medical Fact

Unlike x-ray or CT scans, ultrasound does not expose the body to radiation and is therefore the preferred method for assessing a developing pregnancy.