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Abdominal Ultrasound

Abdominal ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to form pictures of your abdominal organs. It can help detect organ problems, such as gallstones, kidney stones, or liver disease. Ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation and does not have any known risks.  

Woman lying on table with part of abdomen exposed. Health care provider is holding ultrasound probe against her skin. Ultrasound probe is attached to ultrasound machine and monitor.

Before your test

  • Be sure to mention the medicines you take. Ask if it’s OK to take them before your test.

  • You may not eat 8 to 12 hours before the test. 

  • Follow all other instructions given by the doctor.

For best results, be prepared to answer questions about your medical history including the following:

  • Previous abdominal surgery

  • Previous abdominal ultrasound tests

  • Any medicines you are taking

During your test

  • You may be asked to put on a gown.

  • You will lie on an exam table with your abdomen exposed.

  • A nongreasy gel will be put on your skin.

  • The sonographer will use a hand-held transducer (probe) against your abdomen. This probe helps create images of your abdominal organs.

  • You may see the pictures of your organs on screen.


Although the sonographer can answer questions about the test, only a doctor can explain the results. 


Your test results

Your doctor will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up visit or over the phone. Your next appointment is: _________________


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