What happens during an abdominal ultrasound

What happens during an abdominal ultrasound?

Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, is indeed a radiation-free technique used for diagnostic imaging. Here’s a brief overview of how it works and its applications

What is the purpose of an abdominal ultrasound

Abdominal ultrasounds are performed to assess vital organs such as the gallbladder, kidneys, liver, pancreas, abdominal aorta, and other blood vessels located within the abdomen. This procedure carries no associated risks. Common reasons for undergoing an ultrasound include evaluating conditions such as abdominal aortic aneurysms, blood clots, organ enlargement, abdominal fluid accumulation, gallstones, kidney or gallbladder blockages, cancer, liver tumors, abdominal pain, and tumors.

How should one prepare for the test

Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure. Patients are typically advised to fast for 8-12 hours prior to the scheduled ultrasound to ensure an empty stomach, which helps prevent undigested food from interfering with sound wave transmission and obtaining clear images. However, drinking water and taking prescribed medications are usually permitted. Additionally, patients may be instructed to consume a fat-free meal the evening before the fast if the ultrasound will focus on the gallbladder, liver, pancreas, or spleen.

What occurs during the procedure

Patients will be asked to lie on a table with their abdomen exposed. A technician or doctor will apply a special lubricating gel to the abdomen to minimize friction during the procedure. A transducer emits high-frequency sound waves that generate echoes upon encountering organs, which are then reflected back into a computer for analysis. Patients may be repositioned to facilitate examination of different areas, and the procedure typically lasts 20-30 minutes. Following completion, the gel will be wiped off, and patients await their results.