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Abdominal Ultrasound

Exam Description

Your doctor has ordered an ultrasound of your abdomen. Ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure that uses sound waves to assess the structure of your internal body organs. The scan can help diagnose such medical conditions as abdominal masses, gallbladder disease and gallstones, as well as problems in the liver, kidneys, pancreas or spleen.
Ultrasound of the Abdomen3

How Do I Get Ready for My Exam?

  • You must not eat or drink for eight hours before your exam. You can drink a little water to take your medications.
    • Kidney or Bladder Ultrasound examinations should be done while fasting. To prepare, please drink 20 ounces of water, one hour ahead of your appointment, prior to examination.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing (ideally without metal) and leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Please call (805) 681-7671 if you have any questions regarding your exam.  

What Should I Do After Arriving for My Exam?

  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • Please check in at the main registration desk and then check in at the reception desk in radiology.

What Should I Expect During My Exam?

  • The ultrasound technologists will explain your exam and answer any questions you may have.
  • Your ultrasound procedure requires you to lay down flat on your back on the scanning table.
  • The ultrasound technologists will apply warm gel to the skin of your abdomen. This gel is necessary to help the sound waves to get from the machine into your body.
  • A transducer, a small device, will be placed on your abdomen during the examination.
  • Sound waves will bounce off certain organs and tissue in your body. This creates "echoes." The echoes are reflected back to the transducer, which converts them to electronic signals. A computer then processes the signals into pictures for radiologist evaluation.
  • The exam will take approximately 30-45 minutes.

What Do I Do After My Scan?

  • You may resume your normal diet after your examination.
  • There are no dietary of physical restrictions following your ultrasound scan.
  • The images of your scan will be examined by a radiologist and the results will be sent to your referring physician who will review the results of the scan with you.
  • You can request copies of your images on a CD-ROM or your report, by calling (805) 692-6435.

Find out about MRIs for the abdomen.


Please call (805) 681-7671 to schedule your appointment.