Ultrasound is a widely used diagnostic tool when looking at organs and other parts of the body. It uses high-frequency soundwaves that pass into the body which send an echo back to the machine, which creates the image.

Ultrasound is commonly used when people are pregnant have scans to check that their baby is healthy. Although we do not perform obstetric (pregnancy) scans on our sites, we use ultrasound to look at almost every other part of body including: the abdomen (including your liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and kidneys); the pelvis (including the uterus (womb), ovaries and endometrium (lining of the womb); the neck (thyroid, parathyroid, lymph nodes, salivary glands and carotid arteries); arms, legs hand and feet.

Our ultrasound service is made up of colleagues (sonographers and radiologists) that are specially trained to perform your scan and write the medical report. 

We offer scans in six sites across Liverpool; 

  • Aintree University Hospital 
  • Broadgreen Hospital 
  • Kenilworth Road 
  • Royal Liverpool University Hospital 
  • South Liverpool NHS Treatment Centre 
  • York Centre.

Some scans and procedures cannot be performed on all of our sites due to equipment or other staff that may need to be available.

More information

When you are assessed by your doctor or healthcare professional, they will consider if they feel an ultrasound scan may be of benefit. 

If they do, they will send us a referral which usually comes through our radiology computer systems. 

When we receive the referral, one of our consultants or specialists will look at it and consider the following: 

  • Whether the test is going to give us enough information to help
  • Whether an ultrasound is the correct test or whether a different type of scan or test would be better
  • The degree of urgency for the scan (routine, soon or urgent), based on the information provided and the number of other people awaiting the same type of test.

When the above points have been discussed and we agree that the test is needed, you will be sent an appointment letter to confirm the date, time and location of your test.

Because of the number of referrals that we get, we will offer you the next available appointment, this can mean that the next appointment may be at any one of our six sites, not the closest to your home.

Aintree University Hospital - Outpatient Radiology, Ground Floor

Broadgreen Hospital - X-ray Department, Ground Floor 

Royal Liverpool University Hospital - Radiology Department, Ground Floor

You can also find us at:

Kenilworth Road Diagnostic Centre
1 Kenilworth Road
L23 3AD

South Liverpool Treatment Centre
Radiology Department
Ground Floor
32 Church Road
L19 2LW

York Centre
Radiology Department
Smithdown Road
L15 2HE

We anticipate you to be in the ultrasound department for at least 1 hour.

We advise you to wear loose fitting clothes which can be easily removed. More details about what to wear, depending on the area being examined will be described in your patient letter.

Some scans require you to fast (refrain from eating or drinking), again this will be detailed in your letter. In some cases, you may be required to drink extra fluids prior to the procedure. Again, this information is detailed in your letter. 

You should take all your medicines as normal.

As a teaching hospital, students or trainees may be present. If you do not wish them to be there, please ask a member of staff. It will not affect your care.

As the scans can be on intimate areas of the body and personal questions are often asked. We don’t allow patients to be accompanied into examination rooms by a loved one. Instead, the patient will be supported by a friendly member of our team.

There are no childcare facilities available on site and children are not permitted in the examination rooms.

The scan can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the part of your body that is being scanned, and how much information we need to get. If a second opinion is needed, this may take longer.

You will be asked to remove your clothes covering the area being examined and to lie on an examination couch.

A water-based gel will be applied to the skin on the part of your body being scanned.

The sonographer or radiologist will move slowly across the part of your body where the gel has been applied with a small handheld probe. We might need to press down on the probe, and this might feel uncomfortable. Please tell the sonographer or radiologist if this feels too uncomfortable.

The lights in the room will be dimmed so that the pictures can be seen more clearly.

The scans will then be analysed, and results will be shared with the health professional who requested your scan.

Once the scan has finished, the gel is wiped off and you can get dressed.

In most cases, you can leave the hospital straight away or can return to the ward, or department you have come from.

The results will be sent to the doctor or healthcare professional who referred you for the scan.

Results will normally be available within one week.