Princess Anne Hospital ultrasound

The Princess Anne Hospital (PAH) is the maternity hospital for Southampton.

It deals with all obstetric and gynaecological patients. Some minor orthopedic surgery is also carried out here.

Where is the PAH situated in Southampton?

The hospital is situated in the Shirley area of Southampton and is directly opposite the main general hospital.

Please note there are no signs posts to this hospital in Southampton. Follow signs for the General Hospital if necessary.

Where is the ultrasound department in the hospital?

The ultrasound department is situated on level E. This is the same level as the main hospital entrance.

Opening times and contact information

The department is open from 8.30am to 5pm.

Direct number is 023 8120 6046.

Pictures of your antenatal scan

Pictures are available for routine antenatal scans performed between 18 and 20 weeks. You will need to obtain a ticket from either reception or the ticket machine within the waiting area. There is a charge. We often get asked to take pictures later on in pregnancy. However babies in late stages of pregnancy are too big for good images, as you cannot see the whole baby on screen. Therefore the resultant images are of poor quality.

Can you bring a friend or relative?

One adult may accompany you during the scan.

Sometimes delays are experienced and it may be advisable to make alternative arrangements for small children and toddlers.

Types of ultrasound examinations available

Gynaecological/pelvic scans

These are performed to assess the reproductive system of women, namely the uterus and ovaries.

The pelvis is generally asses through the abdomen. You will be asked to attend with a full bladder. This enables assessment of the pelvic organs, which would otherwise be covered by bowel (which we cannot scan through). You will be asked to drink 1 litre of fluid an hour prior to the examination. Often ladies attend with inadequately filled bladders and may be asked to sit and fill. This often leads to delays within the department.

Internal or transvaginal scan

Another way of assessing the pelvis is through an internal or transvaginal scan.

This requires a completely empty bladder.

A small probe will be inserted into the vagina and this gives much better images of the pelvis, as the probe will be closer to the area of interest.

It is not a painful procedure. No speculums are used. The probe is slightly wider than finger width and this type of examination can be used to compliment a full bladder scan. This will obviously be discussed you at the time of your appointment if this type of examination is deemed appropriate.

Obstetric ultrasound

At Southampton, an antenatal scan is offered at 18 to 20 weeks.

You will be asked to attend with a full bladder.

This is where pictures of your baby can be taken.

The fetus will be assessed in detail to ensure normal development has occurred. Close assessment will be made of your babies anatomy and measurements are taken to estimate gestation and ensure the estimated due date is correct. This normally takes 15 minutes.

Often the babies can lie in awkward positions making assessment difficult. You may be asked to go for a walk to change the baby's position. Very occasionally you may have to be rebooked if full assessment cannot be made due to fetal lie.

Sometimes at the routine scan, the placenta may appear low. A scan will then be performed between 32 to 34 weeks to ensure no placenta tissue is near the cervix

There is an early pregnancy unit set up in the PAH. This is a service provided for ladies with problems in early pregnancy, such as bleeding. Patients are referred through their GPs. A scan will be performed and patients will also see a hospital doctor.

Growth scan are also performed in later stages of pregnancy if there is a query about the growth of a baby. These are performed between 28 to 40 weeks.

Referrals are made through either the GP, midwife or consultant obstetrician.

A full bladder is not required for these scans.