When it comes to diagnostic imaging, private scans offer a convenient and efficient alternative to public healthcare systems. Whether you are seeking a specific scan or looking to bypass long waiting times, private scan facilities can provide timely and personalised services. However, if you’ve never had a private scan before, you may be curious about what to expect during the process. In this blog, we will provide you with a quick guide to help you understand what you can anticipate when opting for a private scan.

What is a private scan?

A private scan, also known as a private ultrasound or private imaging, refers to a medical imaging procedure that is conducted in a private healthcare facility or clinic. Unlike scans performed in public hospitals or clinics, private scans are typically paid for by the individual or their insurance, rather than being covered by public healthcare systems.

What are the benefits of private scans?

Private scans offer several benefits compared to scans conducted through the public healthcare system:

Reduced waiting times

One of the main advantages of private scans is the significantly reduced waiting times. In public healthcare systems, patients often face long waiting lists before they can undergo diagnostic imaging procedures. Private scans, on the other hand, can be scheduled quickly, allowing individuals to receive timely diagnosis and treatment.

Flexibility and convenience

Private scans offer greater flexibility and convenience in terms of appointment scheduling. These facilities often provide extended hours, including evenings and weekends, making it easier for individuals with busy schedules to find a suitable time for their scan. Private clinics are also typically equipped with the latest technology, ensuring accurate and efficient imaging.

Enhanced privacy and comfort

Private scans provide a more private and comfortable environment for patients. The facilities are designed to create a calming and soothing atmosphere, reducing anxiety and stress associated with medical procedures. Additionally, the privacy of personal health information is often better protected in private clinics, ensuring confidentiality.

Access to advanced technology

Private scan facilities often invest in state-of-the-art imaging equipment, allowing for more accurate and detailed scans. The use of advanced technology can lead to improved diagnostic accuracy, helping healthcare professionals detect and diagnose conditions more effectively. Additionally, private clinics may offer a wider range of imaging options, including specialised scans not readily available in public healthcare settings.

Comprehensive reports and consultations

Private scans typically include comprehensive reports and consultations with radiologists or specialists. This personalised approach allows patients to have a better understanding of their scan results and enables them to ask questions and seek further clarification. The detailed reports can also be easily shared with other healthcare providers, ensuring seamless continuity of care.

Peace of mind

Private scans offer peace of mind to individuals who may be concerned about their health or have specific symptoms that require prompt attention. By bypassing long waiting times and obtaining a quick and accurate diagnosis, patients can have their concerns addressed and begin appropriate treatment sooner, alleviating anxiety and promoting overall well-being.

Greater choice and availability

Private scan facilities often offer a wider range of imaging options compared to public healthcare systems. This includes specialised scans such as 3D mammography, whole-body MRI, or advanced cardiac imaging. Having access to a broader range of scans can be beneficial for individuals with specific medical conditions or those seeking comprehensive health screenings.

Second opinion and alternative diagnosis

Private scans can be particularly useful for obtaining a second opinion or seeking an alternative diagnosis. If individuals have concerns about the accuracy or interpretation of their scan results from the public healthcare system, they can opt for a private scan to gain a fresh perspective from a different team of radiologists or specialists.

Improved continuity of care

Private scans can contribute to better continuity of care, especially for individuals who are already receiving treatment from private healthcare providers. By having their scans conducted in the same private healthcare system, patients can ensure that their diagnostic information is readily available to their healthcare team, facilitating more coordinated and seamless treatment plans.

Screening and early detection

Private scans are often utilised for preventive screenings and early detection of diseases. These screenings, such as full-body scans or specific organ screenings, can help identify potential health issues at an early stage when treatment options are generally more effective. Early detection can lead to better outcomes and potentially save lives.

Access to specialised expertise

Private scan facilities often have access to specialised expertise in various medical fields. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with complex or rare conditions that require the knowledge and experience of specialised radiologists or clinicians. The availability of specialised expertise can increase the accuracy of diagnoses and help guide appropriate treatment plans.

Continual investment in technology and innovation

Private scan facilities have a strong incentive to continually invest in the latest technology and innovations in medical imaging. This commitment to staying at the forefront of advancements can lead to improved imaging techniques, enhanced accuracy, and the ability to diagnose conditions that may be challenging to detect using older technology.

What can I expect from a private scan?

When you opt for a private scan, there are several things you can expect during the process. While specific details may vary depending on the type of scan and the facility you choose, here are some general aspects to anticipate:

Appointment scheduling

Private scan facilities typically offer more flexibility in appointment scheduling compared to public healthcare systems. You can often choose a convenient date and time that works best for you.

Registration and check-in

Upon arrival at the private scan facility, you will likely need to complete some registration forms and provide relevant personal and medical information. This helps ensure that the scan is tailored to your specific needs and that your medical history is taken into account.

Preparation instructions

Depending on the type of scan, you may receive specific preparation instructions in advance. For example, you may need to fast for a certain period before an abdominal scan or refrain from wearing certain accessories or clothing that could interfere with the imaging process. It is important to carefully follow these instructions to ensure accurate results.

Welcoming environment

Private scan facilities often strive to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for patients. The waiting area may be designed to promote relaxation, with amenities such as comfortable seating, reading materials, or calming music.

Consultation with a healthcare professional

Before the scan, you may have the opportunity to discuss your concerns, medical history, and any specific symptoms with a healthcare professional, such as a radiologist or technologist. This consultation allows them to gather relevant information and address any questions or anxieties you may have.

Explanation of the procedure

The healthcare professional will explain the scan procedure, including how the equipment works and what you can expect during the process. They will inform you about any potential sensations or discomfort that may arise, such as the need to hold your breath for certain scans or the use of contrast agents for enhanced imaging.

Scan execution

Once you are ready, you will be taken to the scanning room. Depending on the type of scan, you may need to change into a gown or remove certain clothing or accessories that could interfere with the imaging. The technologist or radiologist will guide you through the positioning required for the scan, ensuring that you are comfortable and properly aligned.

Duration of the scan

The duration of the scan can vary depending on the type and complexity of the imaging required. Some scans may take just a few minutes, while others may take longer. The healthcare professional will inform you of the estimated duration beforehand.

Scan results and interpretation

After the scan is complete, the images will be processed and interpreted by a qualified radiologist or specialist. The results will be compiled into a comprehensive report detailing the findings. The report will typically be made available to you and your referring healthcare provider for further discussion and treatment planning.

Follow-up consultation

In some cases, you may have a follow-up consultation with a healthcare professional to discuss the scan results in detail, address any concerns, and determine the next steps in your healthcare journey.

Private ultrasound clinic and ultrasound diagnostic services at Duality Health

Here at Duality Health, we offer a range of private ultrasound diagnostic services using the latest ultrasound equipment:

  • Reports within 24 hours
  • Online booking
  • Reporting sonographer scans from £90
  • GP follow-up available from our in-house physicians
  • Referrals not necessary but welcome
  • Consultant radiologist appointments from £120

We also offer fibroscans of the liver, echocardiogram tests for heart health and a variety of other services. Give us a call on 028 3083 3666 today to book your private ultrasound scan and experience the many benefits of doing so firsthand.