There are many reasons for an abdominal ultrasound exam. Most of them are because someone has stomach pain. It can be caused from all kinds of sources. They are, but not exclusive to, gallstones, aneurysms, damage to organs from an accident, blocked arteries or digestive tracts, cancer, enlarged organs, and a host of other reasons.
An ultrasound exam is a simple, minimally invasive procedure that is not painful. It is safe and does not involve radiation, like x-rays do.
see ultrasound safety
It only takes about 30-60 minutes to do.
How do you prepare for an exam?
Also see procedures
Depending on the organ or area of the body, you will be asked to do certain things. You may be asked if you have had a barium enema in the past two years. Barium can disrupt an ultrasound exam. You may be asked to eat a fat free meal the night before or fast up to 12 hours beforehand. You might be asked to drink several glasses of water an hour before the exam to have a full bladder. You should not have jewelry on and may have to wear a cloth or paper covering during the test. You will lie or your back or side depending on the best angle to produce images, on a padded table. A clear gel is applied to the area of the body in question. A small handheld transducer is placed on the stomach and you have to remain still and hold your breath for a few seconds at a time. Your doctor will be more specific about your
abdominal ultrasound. Back to types of ultrasound
Genesis ultrasound Home page
Thanks to Healthwise, Incorporated
Jan Nissl, RN, BS,
Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Paul D. Traughber, MD - Radiology