An ultrasound is a procedure that uses sound waves and computer technology to produce very precise images of your soft tissue, including internal organs such as the kidneys, bladder, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, or spleen. It is completely safe and painless and does not use X-rays, making it an ideal way to evaluate a fetus during pregnancy, and to visualize gynecological functions in non-pregnant women. An ultrasound test can range from 15 to 60 minutes depending on the type of exam ordered.
Ultrasound also reveals internal motion, such as your heart beat and blood flow through veins, arteries and heart. A Doppler ultrasound study may be part of a vascular ultrasound examination. Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body’s major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.
Preparing for an Ultrasound
Pelvic, Obstetrical, Urinary, Bladder Ultrasound:
- You should eat at least 30 minutes before drinking.
- Prior to drinking, empty your bladder.
- Drink 40 ounces of water, coffee, tea or juice 1 hour before the exam. Do not urinate after drinking since your bladder must be full for the examination.
Abdomen, Gallbladder, Liver, Pancreas, Spleen Ultrasound:
- Please have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. If your appointment is in the afternoon don’t eat anything six hours prior to your appointment.
- You may take medication with water.
Vascular Ultrasound (Aorta & Renal Arteries):
- Please have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. If you appointment is in the afternoon don’t eat or drink six hours prior to your appointment.
- There is no preparation for other vascular studies.