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Ultrasound examinations

Everything about ultrasound examinations 
What is an ultrasound examination?

Ultrasound is a range of sound waves that the human ear cannot detect, which enables two dimensional imaging of body parts. Ultrasound is one of the most commonly used imaging methods, and entails no discomfort or risk for the patient. It causes no radiation exposure, it is not harmful for the body, so it can be repeated multiple times if needed.

In what cases do we recommend an ultrasound examination?

Ultrasound is usually used for the examination of abdominal and pelvic organs, but it is essential in gynaecology and many other fields as well.

  • Abdominal and pelvic ultrasound are recommended for abdominal and lower abdominal complaints. This examination helps to evaluate the condition of the kidneys, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas and the gallbladder, among others.
  • Soft tissue ultrasound is performed to detect suspected neck and other soft tissue lesions; for example, to evaluate the thyroid gland or lymph nodes.
  • Doppler ultrasound is used to evaluate the circulation, and the condition of blood vessels. It is indicated in cases of smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.
  • Echocardiography is one of the most important examination methods in cardiology.
  • In gynaecology, ultrasound is used to monitor pregnancy and the matureness of the foetus, and also to detect potential developmental disorders. It is also an important tool for the examination of certain gynaecological problems (inflammations, tumours).
At what age can the examination be performed?

Ultrasound can be performed in all age-groups. Over the age of 50, regular abdominal and pelvic ultrasound and the evaluation of the blood vessels of the neck are recommended for both genders.

What are the side effects of the examination?

The examination is risk-free, as ultrasound induces no biologically harmful effects. The examination causes no radiation exposure, and it does not have any side effects.

How do I request an ultrasound examination?

A referral from a specialist or a general practitioner is required for the examination. Examinations for patients with a referral are performed by appointment, and are covered by the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (Hungarian acronym: NEAK).
An ultrasound examination may be requested without a referral in the centres of Affidea Hungary during private consultation hours. The examination is performed usually within 1-2 days, according to the price list.

Types of ultrasound examination
Abdominal-pelvic ultrasound examination

From the diaphragm to the pubic bone, every organ is examined during the examination. The shape and structure of the liver, the gallbladder, the bile ducts, the pancreas and the spleen are also visualised. The kidneys and abdominal arteries can also be examined accurately. The wall of the bowels can be assessed, but ultrasound examination alone is not enough for to clarify abdominal and intestinal complaints. The urinary bladder, the uterus, the ovary, and the prostate can be examined in the pelvis.
An abdominal ultrasound examination is risk-free; it does not cause pain, and lasts 15 to 20 minutes on average.

How should I prepare for the examination?

Please arrive for the examination on an empty stomach. If possible, you should not eat for at least 5 to 6 hours before the examination, but you can drink water or plain tea. Consumption of other drinks (e.g. coffee, milk, soft drinks or sugary drinks), smoking or chewing a gum make the bowels filled with gas and the gallbladder excreted, which considerably impairs the assessment of the examination; therefore, please refrain from the consumption of such products.
A full bladder is required for better visualisation of abdominal-pelvic organs during the examination. 1 hour before the planned time of the examination, you should empty your bladder and consume half a liter of fluid afterwards (still mineral water or tap water). The bladder should not be emptied before the examination!
Patients with diabetes should consult with our colleagues, and mention their disease when scheduling an appointment, so we can provide the most appropriate appointment and dietary advice.

Soft tissue and vascular ultrasound examinations

Vascular ultrasound detects atherosclerosis, narrowings and occlusions, as well as flow and circulation characteristics of vessels. An ultrasound scan provides information on the condition of the thyroid gland and the lymph nodes.
The examination is performed in a supine position using ultrasound gel. The gel is a skin friendly, water soluble, fat-free material, which can be wiped off after the examination. During examination of the limbs, changing the position of the body may be necessary, otherwise the examination requires keeping still.
The examination is risk-free; it does not cause pain, and lasts 15 to 20 minutes on average.

How should I prepare for the examination?

The examination does not require any preparation; necklaces, and bandages and stockings should be removed before evaluation of the neck veins, and the limbs, respectively.