- What is an Abdominal Ultrasound?
An abdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging test used to visualize the organs and structures inside the abdomen. It uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, Abdominal Aorta, and the Biliary system.
- Why is it Done?
It’s often performed to help diagnose abdominal pain or distention (enlargement), and assess the size, location, and structure of abdominal organs, liver abnormalities, assess gallbladder and kidneys for any stone and to examine other organs for any structural abnormalities. It can detect abnormalities like cysts, tumours, infections, or blockages.
- How to Prepare for the Scan?
You should fast for 6 hours before the exam to ensure a clearer view of the abdominal organs. If you need to take medication prior to an abdominal ultrasound, it is generally advised to do so using only water. This guidance is provided to ensure that your stomach and intestines are as empty as possible for the scan, which helps in obtaining clearer images. Here’s a more detailed explanation:
- What Happens During the Scan?
During the procedure, you’ll lie on an examination table. A technician will apply a special gel on your abdomen which helps to transmit sound waves. A handheld probe, called a transducer, is then moved over the area to capture images.
- Is it Painful?
The procedure is typically painless. You may feel slight pressure as the transducer is moved over your abdomen, but there should be no significant discomfort.
- How Long Does it Take?
The duration varies, but most abdominal ultrasounds take between 20-30 minutes.
- Are there any risks associated with an abdomen ultrasound scan?
No, an abdomen ultrasound scan is considered a safe procedure with no known risks or side effects. It does not involve radiation, making it suitable for pregnant women and individuals with allergies to contrast agents used in other imaging methods.
- When Will I Get Results?
Following your ultrasound, we promptly deliver an initial verbal summary of the findings to offer immediate insight. Subsequently, a comprehensive written report, accompanied by all relevant images, will be sent to you. We highly encourage you to promptly share this detailed report with your physician for an in-depth evaluation and to discuss any necessary next steps in your care.
- Will I need to follow any special instructions after an abdomen ultrasound scan?
In most cases, no special post-procedure instructions are necessary. You can typically resume your normal activities immediately after the scan. You can resume your normal diet and activities unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider.
- Can an abdomen ultrasound scan detect all types of abdominal conditions?
While an abdomen ultrasound scan is a valuable diagnostic tool, it may not always provide a complete assessment of certain abdominal conditions. In some cases, additional imaging tests or procedures may be required for a comprehensive evaluation.