December 4, 2023Read More
Ultrasounds are used for a wide variety of situations. Ultrasounds are routinely used to monitor fetal growth during pregnancy, assess soft tissue injuries and diagnose illnesses. Ultrasound technology helps your healthcare practitioner visualize organs and other soft-tissue structures inside the body to determine shape, development or irregularities.
Ultrasounds are performed by trained medical professionals at hospitals, medical facilities and clinics specializing in imaging services. If you live in Mississauga and have received a requisition for an ultrasound, here’s a breakdown on:
A healthcare practitioner may refer you for an ultrasound to explore the reasons behind symptoms like internal pain in a certain region or to determine the size or shape of a mass.
There are many different reasons to get an ultrasound, depending on the location of the pain or patient concern, such as:
Ultrasounds do not use radiation, making them a safe option to capture fetal development during pregnancy.
Ultrasound technology uses high-frequency soundwaves to capture images of the soft structures inside your body, like organs, muscles and joints. These sound waves bounce off the liquid inside the organ or tissue to capture detailed images.
Bones are hard, dense structures and do not contain much liquid, so ultrasounds are not typically used to explore them. If your practitioner believes you may have a fracture, they will likely send you for an X-ray, instead of an ultrasound.
To get an ultrasound, you’ll need a referral from your doctor. A referral is a paper requisition form that your doctor fills out, indicating the type of ultrasound requested and any other important details, such as the exact location where an ultrasound will capture images. For example, if you receive a requisition for a breast ultrasound, your referring physician will pinpoint the area of concern on a diagram.
Ultrasounds with referrals are covered through OHIP and are available at several Mississauga imaging clinics and hospitals. Except in emergency cases, you will make an appointment at an imaging clinic for your ultrasound. Keep in mind that private clinic appointments are not covered by OHIP.
Whether your ultrasound is covered by OHIP or not, ultrasound clinics and imaging departments at hospitals typically don’t provide walk-in ultrasound services, so you’ll need to make an appointment and bring your requisition form and Ontario health card to the appointment.
Your referring practitioner or medical office assistant will likely be familiar with imaging clinics in the area and may be able to assist you in finding a clinic.
Here’s a list of some imaging clinics and hospitals in Mississauga that offer ultrasounds:
Depending on where you’re located, it can take weeks to get an ultrasound appointment. Ultrasound clinics are often busiest during lunch or before and after 9-5 working hours, so if you can go during off-peak times, that may increase your chances of being seen sooner. Try calling a few different clinics to determine which one can give you the earliest appointment.
Ontario healthcare (i.e., OHIP) covers ultrasound imaging, except for 3D and 4D ultrasounds, which are considered elective. To qualify for OHIP coverage, you must bring a valid health card and your requisition form to your appointment. In Ontario, you can pay for an ultrasound if you don’t have a valid health card, but you will still need to make an appointment and bring a referral from your doctor to the private clinic you choose.
Ultrasounds require some preparation, but exactly how to prepare can differ depending on the ultrasound you’ll be getting. It’s wise to call ahead to confirm if you:
If you have questions about what happens during and after your ultrasound appointment, you can call ahead to ask the clinic:
Don’t forget to bring your requisition form to your ultrasound appointment because this documentation communicates which type of exam you require and makes the check-in process easier and faster. You may also want to wear loose and comfortable clothing that’s easy to take on and off because many ultrasounds require you to remove certain items of clothing to capture the necessary images.
If your practitioner referred you for an ultrasound, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with them to discuss your results. This appointment will likely happen in-person or over the phone within 7 days of your ultrasound, but you may wish to access your ultrasound imaging and report as soon as possible.
PocketHealth enables you to securely access, share and store your imaging and other health information in one place, which makes it easy to compare and review images over time. If you visited a private clinic for your ultrasound, you can share your records directly with your doctor through PocketHealth.
Ultrasound terminology can be complicated and you may not comprehend all of the medical terms used in your report. PocketHealth Report Reader makes it easy to understand terms in your ultrasound report and also highlights any follow-up recommendations, so you can feel informed and confident when speaking to your doctor at your ultrasound follow-up appointment.
Depending on the density and amount of liquid in the area of your body being explored, your ultrasound images will appear in shades of black and grey.
Areas that contain a lot of fluid or liquid, like cysts, or the amniotic fluid during pregnancy ultrasounds, will appear black, while tissue that contains less fluid will appear grey. Very dense tissue and bone will appear white. Understanding how dense certain tissue is allows the radiologist to determine whether there are any irregularities in your images.
Viewing your ultrasound results through PocketHealth ahead of your follow-up appointment enables you to understand the medical terms and details of your report so you can discuss it with your practitioner. Access your ultrasound records through PocketHealth to become an advocate for your health and a participant in your healthcare journey.