This scan is available to women from 16 years of age. (See the equivalent scan for men here)
The purpose is to examine most parts of the body (excluding breast tissue). This includes assessment of the superficial tissues (skin layers and underlying muscles).
Common examples for having this ultrasound scan are to investigate the causes of soft tissue swellings and lumps for conditions such as ganglions, lipomas, cysts, skin changes, foreign bodies, hernias and unexplained swellings in most parts of the body.
Depending on which part of the body is being examined; appropriate clothing must be worn in order to expose the affected area.
Firstly, most long-standing lumps and bumps are harmless. However, many people are concerned about the nature of the lump, especially if this starts to change in size or has become symptomatic.
Ultrasound is widely accepted as the first-line diagnostic tool in the assessment of palpable soft tissue lumps and bumps and is able to assess the size, shape, internal characteristics and more often than not, the origin of the lump.
This type of scan does not require any specific preparation and can quickly evaluate the affected area. Most common lumps and bumps include lipomas (fatty lumps), ganglions, cysts, effusions (fluid), tendon thickening, fibromas, neuromas and nodules.
An ultrasound scan is most often the easiest way to assess lumps and bumps of the soft tissues.