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Ultrasound & Neuro-Doppler

What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasound, also known as sonography, sends inaudible high-frequency sound waves through body tissues using a hand-held device called a transducer. Based on underwater technology used in submarines, the transducer, which is moved over the skin of the area being examined, acts like a speaker producing high-frequency sound waves. Echoes bounce back from the internal structures within the body and are recorded as video or photographic images.

Ultrasound is used to create images of internal organs and soft tissue structures, such as the kidney, liver, gall bladder, and female reproductive organs. It is also used to assess a fetus during pregnancy. A special type of ultrasound, known as a Doppler, can detect blockages in the blood vessels.

Woman receiving ultrasound on shoulder

Getting an ultrasound/doppler: what to expect

Preparing for the test

The preparation for this test will depend on the type of ultrasound procedure your doctor has ordered. Some preparations include drinking water before the test to obtain better images, while others may require fasting.

Our team will give you instructions before the exam. If you are scheduled to have an ultrasound at Sunnybrook and are not sure how to prepare for it, please call 416-480-4336.

On the day of the test

Depending on the procedure, the test will take approximately 30 to 90 minutes, including time to prepare.

Please check-in for your appointment at the Bayview Campus (2075 Bayview Ave), M-wing, ground floor, room MG 132. For obstetrical ultrasounds, please check-in on M-wing, fourth floor.

You may be asked to change into a hospital gown before being taken into the ultrasound room.

During the test

A sonographer or radiologist will ask you to lie or sit on a table with the area that is being examined exposed.

A small amount of water-soluble gel is put on your skin where you will be examined. The hand-held transducer is placed against the skin and moved across the area. The sonographer or radiologist may tell you to hold your breath or move in a certain way during the procedure to get different images.

After the scan is done, you can wipe off any remaining gel.

Our radiologists will review the images for any abnormalities or diseases.

After the test

Generally, you can resume your usual activities and regular diet immediately after the test.

The results of your ultrasound should be available to your referring physician within five to seven business days after your test. Your physician will discuss the test results with you.

Your report can also be accessed through MyChart in two to three weeks after your test.


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Location and contact


Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue,
M-wing, ground floor, room MG 132
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4336
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

» Fetal ultrasound information


Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, 
M-wing, ground floor, room MG 132
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4336
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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» Referral information