You have just been handed a requisition form for an Ultrasound by a member of your healthcare team.

Many of us take the paperwork, shuffle out of the office, and then realize we have questions we should have asked:

  • What is an ultrasound anyway?
  • Should I go to the hospital for an ultrasound?
  • Do I need to do anything to prepare in advance for my ultrasound?

Don’t worry! Premier Diagnostic Network (PDXN) has you covered!

What is an Ultrasound, Anyway?

Ultrasound imaging is quite common and has been used for decades to help diagnose, monitor, and treat health conditions.

Basically, an ultrasound is a way to capture images of the various organs and tissues inside your body such as the Thyroid, Breast, Heart, Lungs, Liver, Kidney, and Blood vessels. An ultrasound can also aid in further investigating any lumps or masses within the body. Using high frequency sound waves, the ultrasound directs the sound waves into your body and produces an image using the sound that bounces back (an echo).

Ultrasound procedures can be used on the body from top to bottom and are a safe, reliable, minimally invasive way to get your healthcare team the information they need without having to resort to more drastic measures like surgery.

Should I Go to The Hospital for An Ultrasound?

When asked to have an ultrasound done, most people naturally gravitate towards the imaging department at the hospital, or the ultrasound lab nearest to the location of their healthcare provider. This is because they are not aware that they have an alternative option that may be a better choice for them.

Independent Health facilities are out of Hospital premises set up by the Ministry of Health Ontario and offer many different types of diagnostic imaging in addition to ultrasounds. Radiology (like getting an x-ray) and Cardiology (like an echocardiogram) imaging can be obtained at these clinics without having to go to the hospital imaging department.

The Premier Diagnostic Network wants you to know that your health and wellbeing is there number one priority. They demonstrate this commitment by:

  • Using the best in current hospital-grade equipment operated by Canadian regulated technicians.
  • Offering Services that comply with Ministry of Health regulations.
  • Having Quality of Service assessed regularly by the College of Physicians and Surgeons & Public Health.
  • Utilizing Hospital-Grade cleaning and disinfection methods as a standard.
  • Affiliation with the University Health Network (Michener Institute) ensures highly trained staff and hospital-grade equipment updates.
  • Employing specialist radiologists with tenure at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto.
  • Providing your healthcare team with fully digitized results as promptly as possible, checked and reviewed by specialist radiologists.
  • Ensuring your data is available around the clock to your healthcare team via their cloud-based online system.
  • Making appointments accessible. (Not only do they have multiple locations across Scarborough, but they also have evening and weekend appointments. You also have the option of booking appointments in three ways; calling, booking online or simply walking in.)

Another benefit of using Premier Diagnostic Network is the access you have to their website to find out how to prepare for ultrasounds.

Do I Need to Do Anything to Prepare in Advance for My Ultrasound?

Although most ultrasound appointments do not require any special preparation, there are some that do. On their website ( PDXN has a comprehensive list of the types of scans they perform, and corresponding direction should any preparation be needed.

For instance, an ultrasound test on the thyroid, the testicles or the musculoskeletal system requires zero preparation (although you may want to consider wearing loose comfortable clothes to your appointment), but an obstetrical ultrasound requires you to drink a litre of water one hour before the scan is scheduled.

As mentioned, the PDXN website is an excellent resource on how to prepare for ultrasound. While you are there you can see which of their three locations is most convenient for you, read more about the benefits they offer, and even book an appointment online!