Ultrasound: Abdomen

Ultrasound: Abdomen

Ultrasound: Abdomen

Alternative Names: Abdominal ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound is used to examine the abdomen and the abdominal organs, including the gall bladder, liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas. Ultrasound is a technique that uses sound waves, which bounce off body structures, to create images on a screen. The test is done on an empty stomach. A simple jelly is placed on the skin of your abdomen and a rounded device (probe), placed against the skin, helps to create the images.

What is it?
Abdominal ultrasound is an examination of the abdomen using an ultrasound machine. Ultrasound refers to the use of sound waves, which bounce off (echo) body structures in a manner that can be used to generate images on a screen.

It can be done wherever there is an ultrasound machine and somebody who is trained to use it, but it is most commonly performed in a radiology facility. It takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Why is it done?
Ultrasound of the abdomen is done whenever it is important to examine the abdomen and the abdominal organs, including the gall bladder, liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas.

What happens?

Before – how to prepare
You should fast (eat and drink nothing) for 8 hours before the test.

During – how the test is done
You lie on an examination couch and undress sufficiently to expose your abdomen. Some simple jelly (which may be cold) is placed on your skin and the ultrasound probe is then moved over your abdomen to create the images. You may be asked to lie in certain positions to improve the imaging.

After the test
The result will be available almost immediately.

Risks and Compilations
There are no risks associated with this procedure.

Special Issues
The value of this examination is dependant on the skill of the person performing it. It is best to consult an experienced radiologist or doctor.

Short Description
An abdominal ultrasound is used to examine the abdomen and the abdominal organs, including the gall bladder, liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas.

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