Testicular Scanning: Five Top tips

Hazel Edwards Senior Sonographer at East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and a member of the BMUS Education Committee has put together Five Top tips for Testicular Scanning

1.  Environment.  Use a warm private room and try to put the patient at ease.  Keep him covered as much as possible.  Introduce yourself and your chaperone and adopt a confident, professional but friendly manner.

2.  Transducer.  Always use the highest frequency linear transducer available.  For detecting small lesions, 12 - 18 MHz is required.  However, when a patient presents with a large scrotal swelling, initial surveillance with a low frequency curvilinear transducer may help you work out what's what.

3.  Coupling gel.  Don't scrimp on the ultrasound gel.  Curved testes and linear transducers do not make a good combination so it's essential to use plenty of gel to maintain contact, particularly when trying to view the epididymal tail.

4.  Systematic approach.   Adopt a methodical technique and assess scrotal contents in at least two planes.  If during the exam you become unsure as to which testis you're examining, return to the transverse 'spectacle view' and reorientate before proceeding further.

5.  Reporting.  Keep your report short and concise.  State clearly if you suspect a tumour.  Ensure there is a clear management pathway in place for men with suspected tumours so you know how to fast track them appropriately.