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Ultrasound tomorrow- will they tell me?

(21 Posts)
Chundle Mon 11-Jul-11 13:27:55

hi all I have an ultrasound scan tomorrow morning. It just says on the letter it's of the whole abdomen but they suspect gallbladder problems do they check everything just to be sure and will they tell me there and then if they find something??
Says I've not to eat after midnight tonight either

Footle Mon 11-Jul-11 18:02:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

happygilmore Mon 11-Jul-11 18:11:49

My DH had an ultrasound on his gallbladder and the dr doing it wouldn't tell him anything (it showed stones and was later removed).

I've had an ultrasound on my heart and the sonographer told me "off the record" everything was fine, there and then.

Chundle Mon 11-Jul-11 18:17:36

Ok thanks guys I can but ask I suppose! My dd had a brain ultrasound and technician gave us result so was hoping for same!

LargeGlassofRed Mon 11-Jul-11 18:20:14

Had one last week and she did say looks like fibroids, but only when I asked.

toomanyopinions Mon 11-Jul-11 20:27:33

Hi all. Firstly we are not 'Technicians'- Sonographers or Radiographers. FOOTLE, we do 'know exactly what the pictures mean'. We scan and report independently, we are not simply taking pictures for a Doctor to report- this is a common misconception...
Some Sonographers will give you results- this depends on how serious the results may be- if it is something more than gallstones an Ultrasound room is not the right place for upsetting news- the G.P is best suited to this as they can spend time explaining and they can answer the 'what happens nexts'.

AmeliaGrey Tue 12-Jul-11 07:13:52

I wonder what response you would get if you asked?

I am lucky enough to have had health insurance for the last 20 years. I've had lots of scans- one for my liver and several every 4 months for an ovarian cyst.

These were done privately, but in every case the dr talked me through exactly what they saw, and in the case of my cysts I'd always try to arrange the appt for the scan when my gynae was in the same building, so I could go straight from one to the other - and they would discuss results immediately.

I think it's a sad reflection of the NHS that tests etc are not done when a follow up appt with the dr is avialable on the same day- it causes so much unnecessary distress. It just seems another example of how the NHS doesn't practise the joined up thinking that you get in private care.

ToothbrushThief Tue 12-Jul-11 07:25:01

Another 'technician' here grin

Whether I tell patients depends on the patient tbh

If it's someone who is able to compute and not go home and panic I'd tell them. If it's someone who will panic I leave it to the e.g.surgeon who they will be seeing ...to help them.

As a 'technician' I have broken a range of news varying from cancer to complex fetal abnormality and often explained it to the consultant as well in terms of extent/complexity etc.

I would say you won't be told a lie. If it was serious I'd arrange a prompt consultation so you had the joined up care that Amelia expects.

Generally if it's routine you'd get to go back to whoever referred you.

Amelia - if we received the same finance that private care gets you'd get that joined up care.

There are two ways of looking at it but if private care was compelled to see everyone who had a little ache and referred themself their ability to offer such care would suddenly change....

You are supposed to get paid per patient in the NHS but frankly the money does not get to the point of the care. In private care- one scan I do earns £40 (simple scan). In the NHS the dept can claim £6 for equivalent scan.

ToothbrushThief Tue 12-Jul-11 07:32:02

Plus! How many DNA do private care get?

Do Not Attend and get charged?

DNA costs the NHS because we don't get paid and we lose that appt time. To resolve the issue the NHS usually overbook to make sure that a session is fully utilised

Imagine your private Dr who expects to earn £400 for his clinic = 10 patients.

2 do not appear

Does he take a paycut of 20%? (he has a big enough margin compared to the NHS provision tbh)

Would you?

The NHS does. Every day.

I'd love to offer the same standard of care as private but everybody will have to pay for their treatment and then behave as they would for private care. The public do not.

TittyBojangles Tue 12-Jul-11 07:36:13

Agree with toomanyonions. Ultrasound is not something that can be performed by one person (technician) and interpreted by another (doctor). Sonographers do indeed report the scan themselves as they are the only ones who have seen the entire scan in real time, a few pics from a scan can be very misleading and most of the consultant radiologists won't even look at them because they mean so little.

Anyway, as to whether they will tell you or not it depends on your hospital's policy, the sonographer themselves and the nature of the problem. Although the sonographer can diagnose with ultrasound they MAY have limited knowledge on the next course of action/tests/treatment etc so it isn't always very helpful to say 'I think you have xxxxx but I don't know what they will do next or how serious this is'. So, unless it is something relatively common such as gallstones then it is unlikely they will tell you (though I know some sonographers who might). You can ask though, just dont be suprised if they say they can't say anything.

AmeliaGrey If you were referred from a gynae consultant then in our hospital you would have the scan and then a followup appointment straight after to discuss the results (the report is sent round to them immediately). If it is your GP that has requested your scan then obviously it is them you need to go back to as they know the whole picture. I think this is fairly standard, even in the NHS.

HTH and sorry for banging on. I hope your scan goes well Chundle

TittyBojangles Tue 12-Jul-11 07:39:03

And hear hear ToothBrushTheif grin

TittyBojangles Tue 12-Jul-11 07:41:54

Oh and forgot to say Chundle, yes they will check everything within their limits so probably liver, gallbladder (and associated ducts), kidneys, spleen, pancreas (hospital policy varies slightly). They may also scan other areas if they feel it would be useful. Be aware that ultrasound is not used to image your stomach or bowels.

AmeliaGrey Tue 12-Jul-11 08:29:51

Amelia - if we received the same finance that private care gets you'd get that joined up care.

There are two ways of looking at it but if private care was compelled to see everyone who had a little ache and referred themself their ability to offer such care would suddenly change....

Toothbrush I can assure you it doesn't work that way in private care! You can't ask for tests etc unless you have a letter of referral. You are not covered unless you have an initial referral from your GP, in writing. Most insurers do not cover self-referral, amd most consultants ( though not all) require a referral via a GP.

I was in a position recently where my gynae, who I'd been seeing for 3 years, recommended a new scan/investigation as my symptoms had changed. Even though I was under his care, the insurers made me go back to my GP for a new referral letter as the investigation was different to the original reason for consulting him.
This is to ensure that specialists are not ordering tests willy-nilly.

AmeliaGrey Tue 12-Jul-11 08:35:27

Toothbrush:
I'd love to offer the same standard of care as private but everybody will have to pay for their treatment and then behave as they would for private care. The public do not.

The public does pay for theri care- it's called taxes.

Those of us who have insurance pay twice- once for a service we may rarely use, and again for private treatment.

The public does behave badly by not showing up, and IMO they should be a charge for the no shows. That would sort it out very easily.

KilledBill Tue 12-Jul-11 12:44:24

Another one here popping my head into the thread to point out that sonographers do know what they are talking about!! It is something they have had to specialise in after doing a radiography degree and with several years experience!!

I would say if theres is no obvious problem they will tell you that but send you to discuss this properly with the docotr who refered you. It is better that a patient returns to their doctor and speaks to them as the docotr is the one who can answer any questions or advise on treatments / course of action.

KilledBill Tue 12-Jul-11 12:45:22

How did I managed to spell DOCTOR wrong twice in one post? blush

Chundle Tue 12-Jul-11 15:45:58

Well they didn't tell me a thing today said I'll need to make app with doc to discuss results which has me worried!

greenbluebottle Tue 12-Jul-11 16:11:22

I've had NHS ultrasounds often before now and every time they've left me petrified...

I appreciate that sonographers are experienced and want to refer people back to their GPs, but my most recent sonographer discussed my scan in a whispered voice with a colleague behind a curtain and then suggested I see a consultant 'urgently' as she ushered me out of the room. Unsurprisingly I was
petrified (turns out there was something but not the cancer I felt sure she'd seen). The time before I was told unceremoniously that I had 'very cystic' ovaries and would probably struggle ever to conceive (load of rubbish as it turned out) and then left to sweat until I could get a consultant appointment.

Whether it be the system that prevents NHS patients seeing a consultant immediately post-scan or the particular attitude of the sonographers I've seen (and I'm not getting at all of you - I'm sure some of you are lovely - just not at my local hospital!!) it's never ever ever been a positive experience for me. I'm very grateful that we can now afford to go private.

Footle Tue 12-Jul-11 16:16:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chundle Tue 12-Jul-11 17:15:07

Ok thanks guys will have to wait and see now I guess

KilledBill Tue 12-Jul-11 17:52:32

Also it wouldnt go well if all sonographers told all patients there and then what the result was. If youve had a bad experience, image how bad it would be if you went in, got scanned, and the sonographer says "yep, its cancer. See that big tumour there?" And then ushered you out the room!

Because in reality, they have to see alot of patients and there job is to scan and report, NOT treat. So that is what would happen if they gave results.

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