Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to create a picture of a person’s internal anatomy. It is safe (radiation-free), painless, and a great way to identify ailments that are not visible by the naked eye. Abdominal ultrasound is performed to inspect the major organs in the torso. The appendix, liver, gallbladder, spleen, stomach, large and small intestine, pancreas, and kidneys can all be evaluated using this procedure. Abdominal Ultrasounds are becoming more and more prevalent every year and as the technology improves, readings are becoming increasingly accurate.
When Would I Need One?
You will need a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor in order to get an abdominal ultrasound performed. Your doctor may recommend this scan if you are experiencing any of the following:
• Stomach pain
• Kidney pain
• Severe bloating
• Issues with blood chemistry
Additionally, abdominal ultrasound is sometimes performed to help guide physicians when they need to remove tissue or drain cysts or abscesses.
How Do I Prepare For an Abdominal Ultrasound ?
In order for the ultrasound technician to obtain a clear image of the abdomen, it is recommended that you abstain from eating for 12 hours before the procedure. Drinking water and taking medication should be carried out as usual; however, confirm this with your doctor.
What Should I Expect From an Ultrasound?
A trained technologist will be the one to perform this scan. Once you are in the ultrasound room, you will be asked to change into a medical gown and lie down on a padded examination table. A small amount of a water-based gel will be applied to the abdominal area. The gel will not damage your skin in any way. After this, the technologist will take a device, called a transducer, and gently stroke it along your skin where the gel is located. The transducer will be moved back and forth until a clear image of the area is captured. The technologist will repeat these steps, creating a series of images that map your abdominal anatomy. This process will usually take between 20 to 30 minutes. Once all necessary images have been captured, you will be able to wipe off the gel and get dressed. Soon after your appointment, a radiologist will review your images and send a report of your diagnosis to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.