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Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to take visual images of your internal organs.  This is used to screen your internal organs for cancer (or other abnormalities).    I had to fast for 8 hours before.  I wasn’t even allowed to drink water or chew gum.

When you arrive you will be asked to remove your all your clothes (except your underwear) and will be given a robe to wear.  You will lie down on a padded exam table on your back and your ultrasound technician will apply gel to your abdomen

A small handheld unit called a transducer is pressed against your abdomen and moved back and forth over it. A picture of the organs and blood vessels can be seen on a video monitor.

You may be asked to change positions so more scans can be done. For a kidney ultrasound, you may be asked to lie on your stomach.You need to lie very still while the ultrasound scan is being done. You may be asked to take a breath and hold it for several seconds during the scanning. This lets the sonographer see organs and structures, such as the bile ducts, more clearly because they are not moving. Holding your breath also temporarily pushes the liver and spleen lower into the belly so they are not hidden by the lower ribs, which makes it harder for the sonographer to see them clearly.


Abdominal ultrasound usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. You may be asked to wait until the radiologist has reviewed the information. The radiologist may want to do more ultrasound views of some areas of your abdomen

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