What is an abdominal and pelvic ultrasound?
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An abdominal and pelvic ultrasound scan serves to image the upper abdominal organs and the lower pelvic organs. The most common reason for referral for this procedure is generalised abdominal pain, though there are many other reasons why your doctor can refer you for this. It is a quick, non-invasive way of confirming or excluding certain pathology in relation to the upper abdominal and pelvic organs. In most cases, your doctor will combine blood tests with this examination in order to come to a more accurate diagnosis.
This scan examines
- The Aorta
- The IVC
- The Pancreas
- The Gallbladder
- The Liver
- The Kidneys
- The Spleen
- The Uterus
- The Endometrium
- The Cervix
- The Ovaries
Typical requests include
- Abdominal pain
- Query gallstones
- Query Cysts
- Query Endometriosis
- Query Appendicitis
How to prepare for an abdominal and pelvic ultrasound
The patient is required to fast for at least 6 hours before the scan is carried out. Endometrial polyps are best seen Day 3-5 of the menstrual cycle, so this is the optimal time for this scan. The bladder needs to be full for this examination so only water and essential medication can be taken in this time period. You will need a referral letter from a GP with an Irish Medical Council (IMC) number. The referral letter needs to be dated within 6 months of the scan being carried out.
What to expect from an abdominal and pelvic ultrasound?
Ultrasound gel is placed on the patient’s abdomen and the organs are scanned with an ultrasound probe. The organs of interest are examined and multiple images of them are taken for analysis by a consultant radiologist. We aim to have the report delivered to your GP within 2 business days following your scan. In cases where are transvaginal scan is carried out, the patient is asked to empty her bladder. The transvaginal probe is covered with a sheath and is inserted into the vagina of the patient to obtain images of the uterus and ovaries. This should take no longer than 5 minutes to perform.
How long does an abdominal ultrasound examination last?
The examination lasts 30 mins – 1 hour.