Lumps, Bumps and Foreign Bodies

Lumps, Bumps and Foreign Bodies

What is a ‘Foreign Body’?

Foreign bodies are things that are in your body but shouldn’t be. For example: a splinter, a rose thorn, bits of broken glass or metal. These can set off an inflammatory response by your body or become infected and very painful. If your GP can’t dig the item out, we can locate it on ultrasound to help guide them to it.

What preparation is needed for a ‘Lumps and Bumps and Foreign Bodies’ ultrasound?

There is no specific preparation for one of these ultrasounds. If you have had any previous tests on the area, please bring any images or reports you have to your appointment. Please wear something that makes accessing your region of concern easy.

What do you look at in this kind of ultrasound?

The sonographer will look at your region of interest – the lump, bump, swelling, area of redness or where the foreign body entered your skin as indicated by you. She will try to identify the object and assess its relationship to the surrounding anatomy. 

What will happen during the exam?

You will have to expose the skin around the region of interest. The sonographer will place gel on your skin and then slide an ultrasound transducer over the area. If you have an open wound, sterile gel and equipment will be used to minimise the risk of introducing an infection. The sonographer may push on the area or ask you to move in specific ways to further interrogate the region of concern.

What happens after the exam?

You will be given paper towel to clean up all the gel. The sonographer will tell you what she has found and write a report for your doctor. Depending on the findings, you may need to return to your GP or go to hospital if there is something that needs to be removed. If it’s a non-urgent lump, you can follow-up with your GP at an appointment in the near future.

How long will this ultrasound take?

The scan will take approximately 20 minutes.