What is an abdominal ultrasound?

An abdominal ultrasound is a noninvasive procedure used to assess the organs and structures within the abdomen.

This includes the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, bile ducts, spleen, and abdominal aorta.

Why might I need an abdominal ultrasound?

Abdominal ultrasound may be used to assess the size and location of abdominal organs and structures. It can also be used to check the abdomen for conditions such as:

  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Collection of pus (abscesses)
  • Obstructions
  • Fluid collections
  • Infection

How should I prepare:

  • Preparations depend on the type of ultrasound you are having.
  • For a study of the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas avoid eating and drinking coffee or beverages with gas for 4 hours before the test.
  • For ultrasound of the kidneys, you may be asked to drink 2 glasses of liquid about an hour before the test to fill your bladder.

There are no contraindications for procedure! Ultrasound may be safely used during pregnancy or in the presence of allergies to contrast dye, because no radiation or contrast dyes are used.

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