Abdominal Scan

What is an abdominal ultrasound?

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An abdominal ultrasound scan serves to image the upper abdominal organs. The most common reason for referral for this procedure is upper 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 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

Typical requests include

  • Abdominal pain
  • Query gallstones
  • Query stones in the biliary tract
  • Query fatty infiltrated liver
  • Query liver lesions/mass
  • Query abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Abnormal liver function tests

How to prepare for an abdominal ultrasound

The patient is required to fast for at least 6 hours before the scan is carried out. Only water and essential medication can be taken in this time period.

What to expect from an abdominal 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. The results of the scan will be sent to the patient’s referring doctor within 48 hours of the examination being carried out.

How long does an abdominal ultrasound examination last?

The examination lasts 20-30 minutes.