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Ultrasound

Ultrasound scanning is the use of high-frequency sound waves to produce images of organs, tissues, or blood flow within a patient for diagnostic purposes.

HCA at The Shard’s Ultrasound Department features both male and female consultant radiologists, who perform a range of diagnostic scans and interventional procedures.

Due to the use of sound waves instead of radiation, ultrasound procedures are believed to be completely safe.

Ultrasound procedures at HCA Healthcare UK at The Shard

Radiologists use ultrasound images as guidance during biopsies, drainages and other interventional procedures. Sometimes these procedures need the patient to stay in hospital. They are carried out under sterile conditions and the patient will be required to sign consent forms before the examination.

All ultrasound scans at HCA at The Shard take between 15 and 30 minutes and we offer a chaperone service to all patients.

Common ultrasound procedures include:

Pelvic scans: This scan can be performed both transabdominally and transvaginally.

Transabdominal scans require a full bladder. You will need to consume a litre of water 30 to 60 minutes prior to your scan taking place. The ultrasound probe is pushed against the lower abdominal wall to look down into the pelvis.

A transvaginal (TV) Scan is performed with an empty bladder, using a thin probe inserted into the vagina. This allows detailed information to be obtained by having the probe closer to the pelvic organs.

Abdominal scans: Performed transabdominally, these scans usually involve fasting for six hours before the examination to allow for improved imaging of the liver and gall bladder.

Renal scans: Performed transabdominally with a full bladder, this requires the patient to drink a litre of water 30 to 60 minutes prior to the scan taking place. This scan then helps to assess the kidneys and bladder.

Breast scans: These are performed by specialist consultant radiologists, who have designated sessions in the department and are involved in our One Stop Breast Clinics.

Prostate scans: This scan is performed transrectally – this means the ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum to enable clearer visualisation of the prostate gland.

Doppler Venous/arterial scans: Carried out by specialised vascular scientists, Doppler imaging analyses the flow of blood within vessels.

Musculoskeletal scans: These are carried out by musculoskeletal consultant radiologists who, following the results of the scan, may prescribe a steroid injection to the afflicted area.

Echocardiogram: This is a specialised ultrasound of the heart, which is performed to assess damage to the heart itself and the surrounding muscles, while also looking for irregularities in size and heartbeat.

Why use HCA at The Shard?

  • Medical complaints can be stressful. This is why at HCA at The Shard we aim for same and next day appointments, and endeavour to provide the results of diagnostic treatments within 48 hours to enable faster more effective treatment.
  • Our ultrasound scans are carried out by leading consultant radiologists from London’s top teaching hospitals. 
  • Using advanced diagnostic technology helps us to identify medical issues quickly and deliver a more effective treatment as a result.
  • Care is tailored to the specific needs of the patient, with a focus on achieving the best possible results for treatment and assisting in a full recovery.


To find out more about our Ultrasound or other diagnostic services, please call 020 7234 2773 or email

Orthopaedics

Our world-leading Orthopaedics Department provides diagnosis and treatment for many musculoskeletal and sports injury conditions. This ranges from the foot, knee and spine to the shoulder, hand and wrist.