Which parts of the body are examined by an abdominal ultrasound?
An abdominal ultrasound looks at the gallbladder, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and spleen. It also includes a view of the abdominal aorta (major blood vessel that carries blood to the lower half of the body).
What happens during the exam?
The patient lies on the table with the abdominal area exposed. The sonographer (technologist who performs the exam) puts a warm water-based gel on the skin surface. The gel helps to transmit sound waves by excluding air. A hand-held instrument called a transducer will be moved over the skin surface by the sonographer.
How do I prepare for this test?
Do not eat solid food or drink anything but water for six to eight hours before the exam. Essential medication (pills) that you routinely take at home may be taken with a sip of water. If you are diabetic, please consult your doctor before taking any diabetes medication either by mouth or injection the morning of the exam.
How long will the exam take?
The exam will take approximately 20 minutes.
Will it hurt?
How will I learn the results?
Results are usually available in 3-4 days. Contact your physician who ordered the scan to discuss the results. The report describing the findings will automatically be sent to the ordering physician. If you would like a copy of this report, either ask your physician or contact the Radiology View Room in the Main Hospital at (310) 517-4677.