Ultrasound Technology: How It Works

The ultrasound specialists at The Medical Chambers Kensington use the latest technology available. 2D, 3D and 4D scans, as well as colour Doppler scanning, allow us to observe internal organs and, in pregnancy, the structure and function of a baby's organs and the placenta.

How does ultrasound scanning work?

High frequency sound waves that cannot be heard by the human ear are known as 'ultrasound'.  Scanning uses these high frequency waves. A probe placed on your skin transmits short pulses of ultrasound into the body and within a fraction of a second receives back multiple echoes from the part of the body being examined. These echoes are converted into detailed images of internal organs and tissue, which are viewed on a screen. The use of a gel enhances the transmission of the high frequency waves and the quality of the image that is obtained.


2D scans

They are most commonly used by the NHS for pregnancy scans, but are also used to scan organs and tissues for diagnostic purposes.


3D and 4D Ultrasound Scans

3D ultrasound scanning gives clearer visuals than 2D scanning and allows for more accurate diagnosis. All ultrasound scanning at The Medical Chambers Kensington, including obstetric and gynaecologic examinations, includes 3D/4D technology. For pregnancy scans 3D allows us to see a baby's internal organs, as well as external shapes, such as their face. Our machine is also equipped with the latest technology including 'HD Live', which can produce stunning static images of unborn babies.

4D ultrasound produces moving 3D images. It is widely used in pregnancy scanning to show the baby's external features more clearly, including images of the baby's face. Both 3D and 4D images can be obtained any time during pregnancy including the early dating scan, the 12-week nuchal translucency scan, and the 20-week fetal anatomy scan. However, for parents keen to have 3D/4D images of their baby's face, these will be clearest between 22 and 30 weeks when the baby is bigger and has more fat and muscle, with facial features well defined. 

Colour Doppler scans

Colour Doppler scanning is used to view blood flow through the organs and major blood vessels. It is useful in pregnancy to observe placental function, and in gynaecological scans Doppler provides information about ovarian function, among other things. We use colour Doppler and often duplex Doppler for all of our scans.