Sound waves produce an image of organs, muscles and other body structures by reflecting off the boundaries between softer and harder structures.

Specific types of ultrasound

Different guidelines apply for gynaecological ultrasounds, mammography or urological ultrasounds of the bladder, kidneys, prostate and scrotum.

On medical prescription only

You will always need a prescription from your doctor for this test. Bring this prescription with you on the day of the test.


  • You must fast before an ultrasound scan of the upper abdominal organs (liver, gall bladder, pancreas and spleen). You are not allowed to eat, drink or smoke for six hours prior to the test.
  • You do not have to fast before other types of ultrasound imaging.
  • Please inform the nurse if you underwent a test or examination on the department of nuclear medicine before your ultrasound scan.


Duration: 20 minutes on average

  • The radiologist applies a gel on your skin.
  • The radiologist rubs a transducer (a hand-held device) over the part of the body being examined.
  • The transducer produces images of the body part involved.

The ultrasound itself does not hurt per se, but the transducer may feel uncomfortable in painful areas.

Increased reimbursment

Asymptomatic patients who have a significantly increased risk of breast cancer (life time risk of 30% or more) will be reimbursed for the annual ultrasound scan.

Last edit: 16 January 2024