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The ultrasound department is situated next to the x-ray department on the ground floor of the Borders General Hospital. It is open from 9.00am till 5.00pm. We work to an appointed system; patients are referred from their GPs or outpatient clinics for these types of scans.

Radiology Ultrasound Scanner

How an Ultrasound works

An ultrasound scan builds up pictures of organs and areas inside the body using sound waves. These waves are delivered by a small hand held sensor, which is similar to a microphone.

  • The sensor is moved over the surface of the skin
  • It picks up the sound waves as they bounce off organs in the body
  • A computer linked to the sensor turns the sound waves into pictures, which are viewed on a television screen
  • Photographs are taken of the pictures and then interpreted by a trained specialist

There are no known risks with ultrasound, it is considered to be very safe.

Where possible, children should not attend with you for your Ultrasound scan appointment.

If the patient is a child it is advisable that no other children attend with them for their examination. You will be able to stay with your child for their examination.

It is useful to bring small toys or books with you to amuse your child while waiting for their ultrasound scan.

Snacks are useful too, but best kept for after their examination if they have required to be fasted as part of their preparation for the scan. Please refer to your appointment information letter.

The nearest baby changing facilities are located within the disabled toilet close to reception in the Radiology department.

What happens during the scan?

A sonographer, a specialist radiographer, will carry out your scan.

Once you have checked in with the receptionist, you will be asked to take a seat in the waiting area. You will be called for your scan and either taken to the scan room or they may show you to a cubicle and ask you to put on a hospital gown. Whether you undress or not depends on what part of the body is being scanned.

You will be taken into the scanning room and asked to lie on the couch next to the ultrasound machine. The lights in the room will be dimmed so that the pictures on the television screen can be seen more clearly. A gel will be applied to your skin on the area to be scanned, such as the abdomen. This helps transmit the sound waves to the sensor.

Ultrasound scans take from five minutes to about half an hour, depending on the type of scan. As soon as the scan is over the gel will be wiped off. You may then get ready to go home or back to the ward if you are an inpatient. After you may go to the toilet and eat and drink as normal.


The result of the scan will be ready within seven days. The report will be sent to the doctor who referred you for the scan. He or she will discuss the results with you.


Please leave all valuables at home if possible.

For any further information or questions regarding these services please contact the department on: 01896 826417 or alternatively complete our online contact form