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Ultrasound - Abdomen


Ultrasound imaging of the abdomen uses sound waves to produce pictures of the structures within the upper abdomen. It is used to help diagnose pain or distention and evaluate the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and abdominal aorta. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive and does not use ionizing radiation.

  • This procedure requires little to no special preparation. Your doctor will instruct you on how to prepare, including whether you should refrain from eating or drinking beforehand. For a study of the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas, you may be asked to eat a fat-free meal on the evening before the test and then to avoid eating for eight to 12 hours before the test. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown.

What is Ultrasound Imaging of the Abdomen?

Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical condition.