Test Preparation
Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to assess different structures in the body. During the procedure, an ultrasound transducer that produces these sound waves in placed on the skin. The sound waves bounce off of internal tissues or organs and an image is created by the ultrasound machine.

Before the Test: There are different types of ultrasound tests. Some tests will require no preparation, some will require you to drink large amounts of liquid prior to the test, and others will require you to not eat or drink for hours before the test. Consult your physician for any specific instructions for your particular test.

  • Abdomen: No eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum 8 hours prior to appointment. Drink 1 liter of water 1 hour prior to appointment. Do not go to the washroom. You must have a full bladder for this test. For afternoon appointments, you are allowed to eat a light breakfast (dry toast, black tea or coffee with no milk or cream). You must have nothing to eat 6 hours before your appointment. Absolutely no meat or dairy products.
  • Anorectal: You must use one (1) Dulcolax suppository 2 hours before your appointment. This is an over-the-counter medication, available at most pharmacies. This medication should cause you to have a bowel movement, usually within 15-30 minutes. About 60 minutes before your appointment, drink 1 liter of any clear fluid before your appointment. Do not go to the washroom. You must have a full bladder for this test. You may eat as usual.
  • Hysterosonogram: This test can only be booked during day 5-10 of your menstrual cycle. This test is used to diagnose abnormalities of the uterus. It involves the placement of a speculum into the vagina through which a catheter is positioned in the uterus. A saline solution is injected into the uterine cavity while a transvaginal ultrasound is being performed. This is a 2-day test: DAY 1 – Please follow the instructions for a Pelvic ultrasound.  DAY 2 – Take 1 or 2 Advils one hour prior to your appointment. You will be required to wait in the office 15 minutes after the procedure has been finished.
  • Pelvic: About 90 minutes before your appointment, go to the washroom and empty your bladder. Drink 1 liter of any clear fluid STARTING 90 MIN BEFORE YOUR APPT TIME AND FINISH  at least 60 minutes before your appointment. Do not go to the washroom. You must have a full bladder for this test. You may eat as usual.
  • Pregnancy: About 90 minutes before your appointment, go to the washroom and empty your bladder. Drink 1 liter of any clear fluid STARTING 90 MIN BEFORE YOUR APPT TIME AND FINISH  at least 60 minutes before your appointment. Do not go to the washroom. You must have a full bladder for this test. If you are in the later stages of pregnancy (22 weeks onwards), drink only 500 mL of any clear fluid.
  • Prostate (Transrectal): Fleet enema 2 hours before the examination (kit may be purchased at your pharmacy.) Drink 1 liter of water STARTING 90 MIN BEFORE YOUR APPT TIME AND FINISH 1 hour prior to appointment. Do not go to the washroom. You must have a full bladder for this test. You may eat as usual.
  • Renal/Bladder – 3 hr fast and follow the pelvic preparation.
  • Transvaginal: About 90 minutes before your appointment, go to the washroom and empty your bladder. Drink 1 liter of any clear fluid at least 60 minutes before your appointment. Do not go to the washroom. You must have a full bladder for this test. You may eat as usual.
  • All Others: No preparation is required for these examinations.

During the Test: An ultrasound may require you to remove some or all of your clothing and put on a gown. The technician will place lubricating gel onto the area being examined. During the test, the technician will use a device called a transducer and make contact with your skin, sweeping back and forth over the area being examined.

In some ultrasound tests, the transducer is inserted into a natural opening in the body.

After the Test: Once the test is completed, you are able to return to your normal activities.

What to Bring: To avoid delays on the day of your test, ensure that you bring your health card and your requisition.

Vascular Ultrasound

About Vascular Ultrasound: This ultrasound is used to examine blood flow in arteries and veins. This includes Carotid Doppler, Arterial Doppler of the Extremities (Arms and Legs) and Venous Doppler of the Extremities (Arms and Legs).

Before the test: No preparation is required for these examinations.

During the test: You may be required to wear a gown for the procedure. The technologist will apply water based jelly to the skin surface and use an ultrasound probe to acquire images of the blood circulation. With certain types of vascular exams, the technologist will be required to take your blood pressure on you arms and legs. All vascular studies are non-invasive; they do not require the use of needles, dyes, radiation or anesthesia.

After the test: You will be able to return to your normal activities when the test is complete, unless your physician or technician tells you otherwise.

What to Bring: To avoid delays on the day of your test, ensure that you bring your health card and your requisition.