Abdominal ultrasound

What is Abdominal Ultrasound?

An abdominal ultrasound is a type of imaging test. It uses sound waves to make pictures of the inside of your abdomen. The abdomen is the area between the chest and hips. This includes the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and other organs.

Preparation for Abdominal Ultrasound

Your doctor might ask you to fast for 8 hours before your abdominal ultrasound. You may also need to drink several glasses of water before the test. This will help your doctor get a better image of your abdomen.

Procedure of an Abdominal Ultrasound

For the procedure, you'll need to lie on an exam table. A technician will put some gel on your abdomen and then slide a device called a transducer across it. The transducer will send and receive sound waves. These looks create images of your abdomen that the technician can view on a monitor. The entire test takes just minutes. But you might need to wait a while before the test if you're fasting.

Types of Abdominal Ultrasound

Depending on what your doctor is looking for, there are two types of abdominal ultrasounds. A basic ultrasound looks at the size and shape of your organs. It also can check for blockages, fluids, or tumors. A Doppler ultrasound looks at blood flow in major vessels in your abdomen. It can check for blockages and leaks in the arteries and veins. It can also look for blood clots in the vessels.

Risks of an Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound is considered safe. The test doesn't use any radiation. And it doesn't cause any pain.

Why Have an Abdominal Ultrasound?

Your doctor might order an abdominal ultrasound if you have abdominal pain, bloating, or changes in your bowel habits. It might also be used to check for signs of cancer or to look at the organs and blood vessels in unborn babies during pregnancy.

When to Have an Abdominal Ultrasound?

Your doctor might order an abdominal ultrasound if you have signs or symptoms of a problem in your abdomen. It might be used to look at conditions like liver disease, pancreatitis, kidney stones, or gallstones. It can also look for signs of tumors, infections, or cysts in the abdominal organs.