Need to Know
Nice to Know
Ultrasound: What to Expect
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is This Exam Done?
Abdominal ultrasound is used to study the organs and vessels within the abdomen to detect any abnormalities or to assess proper function. Patients may have this exam done due to symptoms they may be experiencing, abnormal blood work, or to follow up on surgeries.
How Does it Work?
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the body’s tissues, structures, and blood flow. A transducer/probe and ultrasound gel work in combination to absorb the reflected sound waves to produce images on the monitor.
What Will Happen During the Exam?
The sonographer will request that you lay quietly during the test to help ensure that the images are clear. Warm, water-based gel will be applied to the ultrasound transducer or directly on the skin. The sonographer will then move the transducer around on the area to obtain clear images of the underlying structures for the physician to interpret.
The procedure typically lasts for 30 minutes, but the duration varies depending on the structures being examined.
How Should I Prepare?
You may be instructed to fast for 6-8 hours prior to exam
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The benefits of Abdominal Ultrasound:
- Ultrasound images are shown in real-time
- The structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels are able to be seen and recorded
- No ionizing radiation is used for this procedure
Risks you should be aware of:
- There are no known risks for ultrasound
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