SickKids is one of the largest centres providing ultrasounds for children in North America. Our radiologists and sonographers provide highly specialized medical care to your child.
Ultrasound is a safe and painless way to diagnose health issues in children without using radiation. Instead, it relies on high-frequency sound waves from a small device called a transducer.
The transducer uses sound waves that bounce back from different tissues, organs, and blood vessels, and create detailed images. These images appear in real-time on a computer monitor, which the sonographer and doctor can use to assess the child's condition.
- Kidneys and bladder
- with renal Doppler
- with liver Doppler
- with renal and liver Doppler
- Renal transplant
- Liver transplant
- Brain with vascular assessment
- Sutures assessment
- Superficial tissues
- Lower extremities arterial and venous
- Upper extremities arterial and venous
- Neck and chest vascular assessment
- Carotid assessment
- Transcranial arterial assessment for Sickle cell disease patient
The ultrasound is painless and takes between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on the area being examined. Your child will lie down on an examination table, and warm jelly will be applied to the area being scanned. This gel helps sound waves travel through the body and improves contact between the skin and the ultrasound probe.
A specially trained sonographer will perform the ultrasound using a device called a transducer. The transducer sends out sound waves that bounce back to the probe when they meet body parts. These echoes are processed by the ultrasound machine to create images. A radiologist might perform further scans to better understand the images.
Depending on the type of ultrasound being performed, the child will follow specific preparation instructions, such as fasting (no food or drink), drinking water or clear fluids and wearing loose, comfortable clothing. If your child has diabetes or other metabolic problems, they do not need to fast.
Please check in at the registration desk 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment. Once you are registered, the receptionist will then direct outpatients to the ultrasound department on the second floor of the Black Wing.
- Bring your child’s favorite blanket, toy, or stuffed animal to help them feel more comfortable during the exam.
- Bring snacks or drinks to help distract them during the procedure.
- Bring a bottle of milk for bottle-fed babies to use during the exam if needed.
Parents will be allowed to accompany their child into the exam room. It may be helpful to make other arrangements for siblings. Child Life specialists are available to help prepare and support your child during the scan. A Child Life specialist can be present at your child's appointment to explain the process to your child and help them adjust to the hospital experience.
For an ultrasound of the abdominal (belly) area, your child should fast before the scan. This means no food or drink except water or apple juice. How long your child should fast depends on the age of your child
For examinations that involve the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, and ovaries, we ask that patients try to have a moderately full bladder. An hour to 90 minutes before the time of your appointment, your child should try to drink two to three glasses of water or apple juice.
There are no special preparations needed for the following exams:
- Brain, spine, thyroid, scrotal, breast, face, orbits, chest ultrasound, and vascular ultrasound.
- Musculoskeletal examinations: shoulders, elbow, wrist, hands, hips, knees, ankles, superficial tissue.
Ultrasound images are interpreted on the same day and a report will be sent to your physician's office.
For outpatient appointments and bookings:
Patient Care Info. Coordinator, Diagnostic Imaging
Phone: 416-813-6732 / 416-813-6068 / 416-813-6065
CD / DVD Uploading Protocol:
Diagnostic Imaging Electronic (Film Library)
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
PACS Support: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
PACS urgent requests: 416-713-0187
Manager: Fatima Lima-Simao, Phone: 416-813-4965
There are no outpatient appointments or walk-ins on evening or weekends or statutory holidays. Emergency and inpatient service only.
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Only select Saturday clinics, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Monday to Thursday, 12 a.m. to 7 a.m.
- Friday, 12a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Saturday, 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
- Sunday, 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you need to cancel your child's ultrasound test, please call 416-813-6068. We will give the appointment time to another patient. If you are late, your child's appointment may be delayed or rescheduled.