18-20 Week Screening Pregnancy Ultrasound

What is an 18-20 week screening pregnancy ultrasound? An 18–20 week pregnancy screening ultrasound is part of the routine care during pregnancy. Screening is carried out at this stage in the pregnancy because the foetus (unborn baby) is big enough for its body structure and development to be assessed.It also provides additional information such as:... View Article


What is amniocentesis? Amniocentesis is offered to women: who are over 36 years of age; who have a past history of a child with an abnormality; who have had an abnormality in their foetus or unborn baby identified on an ultrasound scan; with a personal or family history of a chromosomal abnormality or a partner... View Article


What is an arthrogram? An arthrogram is a diagnostic test which examines the inside of a joint (e.g. shoulder, knee, wrist, ankle) to assess an injury or a symptom you may be experiencing. The test is done by first injecting contrast medium (sometimes referred to as a contrast agent or “dye”) which outlines the soft... View Article

Ascitic Tap

What is an ascitic tap? An ascitic tap is a medical procedure where a needle is used to drain fluid that is trapped in an internal body cavity, most commonly the abdomen (belly). Fluid may have to be drained from the abdomen for different reasons, such as if the fluid is stretching the abdomen and... View Article

Breast Core Biopsy

What is a breast core biopsy? A breast core biopsy is where a special needle (or probe) is inserted into the breast to take a small sample of breast tissue from an area of concern so that it can be sent to a laboratory for testing. It is done using local anaesthetic to numb the... View Article

Breast Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)

What is a breast fine needle aspiration? A breast fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a quick and simple procedure to perform, which removes some fluid or cells from a breast lesion or cyst (a lump, sore or swelling) with a fine needle similar to a blood sample needle. The sample of fluid or cells is... View Article

Breast Hookwire Localisation

What is a breast hookwire localisation? Mammography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan images or pictures sometimes show abnormalities in the breast that cannot be felt by a doctor. If the abnormality is to be surgically removed, it is necessary to place a fine wire, called a hookwire, in the breast with its tip... View Article

Breast Ultrasound

Dr Monica Pahuja What is a breast ultrasound? Breast ultrasound is the examination of the breast tissue using an ultrasound scan. Ultrasound uses high frequency soundwaves to produce images (or pictures) of the body that are displayed on a screen. Ultrasound of the breast helps to distinguish fluid filled lumps in the breast (cysts) from... View Article

Bursal Injection

What is a bursal injection? A bursa is a soft tissue space between two structures, such as bone, muscle, tendon and skin, which allows the structures to slide over one another. Soft tissue, such as muscle, fat and skin, connects and surrounds the bones and internal organs of the body. The most commonly injected bursas... View Article

Carpal Tunnel Ultrasound and Injection

What is a carpal tunnel ultrasound and injection? The carpal tunnel is located in the wrist, and is formed by the bones of the wrist and the transverse carpal (wrist) ligament. Through this tunnel pass the median nerve, flexor tendons (which help you to curl your fingers) and tendon sheaths (the coverings of the tendons).... View Article

Children’s (Paediatric) Abdominal Ultrasound

What is a paediatric abdominal ultrasound? A paediatric abdominal ultrasound is an examination of the abdomen with an ultrasound machine that uses sound waves to form images of different organs within the child’s body. The sound waves cannot be heard by the human ear and cannot be felt by the child having the ultrasound study.... View Article

Children’s (Paediatric) Hip Ultrasound for DDH

What is a children’s (paediatric) hip ultrasound for developmental dysplasia of the hip? A paediatric hip ultrasound is an examination of a child’s hip joints with an ultrasound machine, which uses sound waves to form images or pictures of the hip joint. These sound waves cannot be heard by the human ear and cannot be... View Article

Children’s (Paediatric) Renal Ultrasound

What is a paediatric renal ultrasound? A paediatric renal ultrasound is an examination of the kidneys and bladder with an ultrasound machine, which uses sound waves to form images of different organs within your child’s body. The sound waves cannot be heard by the human ear and cannot be felt by the child having the... View Article

Chorionic Villous Sampling

What is chorionic villous sampling? Chorionic villous sampling (CVS) is offered from week 11 of pregnancy to women who are at a high risk of their foetus (unborn baby) being born with Down syndrome, or other chromosomal or inherited conditions. CVS also confirms the sex of the foetus, which can be important in identifying X-chromosome... View Article

Image Guided Liver Biopsy

What is an image guided liver biopsy? Image guided liver biopsy is a procedure where liver cells are obtained by a needle inserted directly into the liver through the abdominal wall, in the stomach area, and examined. The reason for requesting this test is that your referring doctor seeks an assessment of the liver tissue... View Article

Joint Injection

A/Prof Howard Galloway What is a joint injection? A common cause of a painful joint is synovitis (inflammation of the lining of the joint). It can be useful to inject corticosteroid and/or local anaesthetic medication directly into the joint or the soft tissue next to a joint (this is often called a bursa) to reduce... View Article

MRI Heart (Cardiac MRI)

Dr Brett Lorraine Dr Charles Lott What is a cardiac MRI? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a high-strength magnet and radio waves to scan the body and produce images or pictures. MRI does not use ionising radiation, which is required for many other types of imaging, and is not known to have any long-term harmful... View Article


Dr Jim Koukounaras Dr Stuart Lyon What is a nephrostomy? Urine is made in the kidneys. Humans have two kidneys, each of which passes urine to the bladder by a tube called the ureter. This tube can become blocked for a number of reasons (e.g. kidney stones or cancer). A blocked ureter can stop the... View Article

Nuchal Translucency Scan

What is the nuchal translucency? Nuchal translucency is the name for the normal fluid space behind the neck of a foetus (unborn baby) that can be seen on ultrasound scans. What is a nuchal translucency scan? A nuchal translucency scan (also called first trimester of pregnancy screening) is carried out during weeks 11–13 of a... View Article

Pleural Aspiration

What is a pleural aspiration? A pleural aspiration is a procedure where a small needle or tube is inserted into the space between the lung and chest wall to remove fluid that has accumulated around the lung. This space is called the pleural space. Pleural aspiration is usually carried out to determine why there is... View Article

Radiofrequency Ablation

What is radiofrequency ablation? Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure carried out to remove diseased tissue or a tumour (a lump) from the body. It is one type of what is called tumour ablation (or removal). Tumour ablation is where a needle is placed directly into a tumour so that a chemical (usually alcohol or acetic... View Article

Saline Infusion Sonohysterography (SIS)

What is saline infusion sonohysterography (SIS)? Saline infusion sonohysterography (SIS) or saline ultrasound uterine scan is a test where a small volume of saline (salt solution) is inserted into the uterus (or womb). This allows the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to be clearly seen on an ultrasound scan. It is also known as a... View Article

Thyroid fine needle aspiration (FNA)

What is a Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)? The thyroid is a soft gland in the front of the neck, in front of the trachea, or ‘windpipe’. It has two lobes (rounded divisions or sections), each about the size of a small egg, joined by a thin bridge of tissue called the ‘isthmus’ of the... View Article

Transvaginal Ultrasound

What is a transvaginal ultrasound? Transvaginal ultrasound is an examination of the female pelvis and urogenital tract (kidneys and bladder). It helps to see if there is any abnormality in your uterus (womb), cervix (the neck of the womb), endometrium (lining of the womb), fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and the pelvic cavity. It differs from... View Article

Ultrasound Guided Prostate Biopsy

What is an ultrasound guided prostate biopsy? An ultrasound guided prostate biopsy is a procedure where a special needle is inserted into the prostate gland to take a small sample of tissue from the gland. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for testing, to determine the presence or absence of prostate cancer. Why... View Article

Vacuum-Assisted Core Biopsy

What is a vacuum-assisted core biopsy? Vacuum-assisted core biopsy is a safe and minimally invasive procedure in which a sample of breast tissue is removed for examination. When breast imaging shows up very small abnormalities too small to be felt (i.e. anything unusual in the structure of the breast), Vacuum-assisted core biopsy is used to... View Article

Varicose Vein Ablation

What is varicose vein ablation? Our understanding of varicose veins and how best to treat patients with this problem has improved in the past decade. This is in part due to the use of duplex ultrasound, which is used to look at blood flow in the veins. Normally, blood circulates from the heart to the... View Article

Venous Access

What is venous access? In radiology, venous access generally refers to central venous access, which is the insertion of a specially made thin, flexible tube, known as a catheter, into a central vein. The central veins are the large veins within the chest and abdomen. With a catheter in place, treatments such as chemotherapy or... View Article