What is an abdominal ultrasound?
Abdominal ultrasounds are an important tool when trying to detect abnormalities in abdominal organs such as the gallbladder, intestines, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and spleen. More specifically, abdominal ultrasounds can help detect the cause of stomach pain or bloating, kidney stones, liver disease, and tumors. It is important to tell the sonographer performing your exam if you have had any surgeries relating to your abdominal organs.
Frequently asked questions:
You may have been referred for an abdominal ultrasound for a variety of reasons including swelling, pain, bloating, or if abnormal laboratory tests are reported in the organs within your abdomen.
Prior to your abdominal ultrasound, you will be instructed not to eat or drink (except water) for at least 6 hours prior to your exam. Fasting prior to your ultrasound is extremely important as it allows the sonographer to capture clear images.
An abdominal ultrasound is painless, fast and easily tolerated. The examination is usually completed within 30 minutes.
Before an abdominal ultrasound, you may be asked to change into a gown and remove any jewelry or other objects that might interfere with the scan. Then you’ll lie down on a table with your abdomen exposed.
An ultrasound technician (sonographer) will put a special lubricating gel on your abdomen and take multiple images of your internal abdominal organs.
If you’re having pain in your abdomen, you may feel slight discomfort during an ultrasound. Make sure to let your technician know right away if the pain becomes severe.
When an abdominal ultrasound is performed, there are little to no risks. However, patients may experience discomfort from the pressure placed on their abdomen from the transducer. This pressure is to allow for the sonographer to capture the best images of your internal organs.