Ultrasound is a type of diagnostic medical imaging system which uses sound waves above the threshold of hearing to capture live images from within your body. It is painless and used in most soft tissue areas of the body. It is most well-known for its use in pregnancy. Your doctor, midwife or physio will refer you to have an ultrasound scan to help with the diagnosis of a condition or to assess your baby during pregnancy.

A sonographer is a medical professional who performs the scan and a radiologist is a doctor who specialises in reporting the scan findings. The report will go back to your referrer.

 Mercy Radiology also offers Ultrasound-Guided Procedures 

  • Minimally invasive therapeutic procedures. 
  • Full range of procedures including corticosteroid injections, aspiration of calcifications in rotator cuff tendons, hydrodilatation of the glenohumeral joint for adhesive capsulitis and ganglion cyst aspirations. 

What to expect


You need a referral from your doctor, physio or midwife to be able to book an appointment for the scan.

Some ultrasound examinations need no preparation. Preparation is required for certain scans.

For early pregnancy, pelvic and kidney scans, your bladder needs to be full in order to optimally view your pelvic organs. The best way to achieve a full bladder is to first empty your bladder one and a half hours prior to your appointment. Then drink one litre of water (4–5 glasses) over the next half hour. Ingestion of water should be completed one hour prior to the examination. Please do not go to the toilet.

For scans of your abdomen, such as the gallbladder, it is important you do not eat or drink anything for six hours beforehand.

For vascular ultrasounds, prior vascular imaging reports are essential if available.

For a musculoskeletal ultrasound, generally no preparation is required.


On arrival, present to reception with your referral form if you or your referrer have not already sent it through. You may be given a consent form to complete. The examination usually takes 30-60 minutes depending on the area to be scanned. You may be asked to change into a gown.

Water-based gel is applied on your skin over the area to be examined. The sonographer uses a transducer over the gel to scan and acquire images as required.  

For pregnancy scans, as this is an important medical examination, it is best to give your sonographer some time to focus on the examination before asking questions. You are not able to record your scan but if you requested we can email you a link to our Patient Portal so you can view your ultrasound images online.


You will be able to resume your normal activities after the ultrasound scan.  Results of your scan will be sent to your doctor as soon as possible. You can also request a copy of your results once they are available.


While Ultrasound has been used for 30-years and has an excellent record, scans should only be carried out by a fully trained Sonographer who knows how to perform the scan safely. 

Book an Ultrasound


Do I need to fast before ultrasound?

For certain abdominal scans you will need to fast (nothing to eat or drink) for six hours before the scan. We will confirm this with you when you book your scan.

Can I bring along my family to my obstetric/ pregnancy scan?

You are welcome to bring a support person with you limited to one (1) person. If you are coming in with children, they must be supervised by another adult. This is to ensure the sonographer is not distracted while trying to get measurements and making sure everything is okay with your baby if you are having a pregnancy scan.

Do I have to have a transvaginal (internal) scan?

An internal scan does provide the best images of your pelvic organs. However, it may not be appropriate to perform an internal scan on all patients. It is your choice whether to proceed. There will be a consent form to sign when you come into reception.

Does it matter if I have my period at the time of my pelvis ultrasound?

This is at your discretion as the scan must be done so if you are comfortable, we can still do the scan. If you are bleeding heavily it may be best to wait.

Depending on the part of your body we are going to scan there may be a small surcharge. The majority of the scans that do not have surcharges would be for anything musculoskeletal e.g. the shoulders/knees or feet. This will be discussed with you by the operator if there is a surcharge to pay on the day.


ACC: $50 surcharge.

ACC – Maternity: $150 surcharge.

ACC – Community Services Card: There is no ACC surcharge for Community Service Card (CSC) holders and their dependents (aged 17 years and under). Card must be presented to reception staff.

Private / Insurance: For an estimate of cost, please phone 0800 497 297 or email [email protected] with a copy of your referral.