An abdominal ultrasound is an imaging study that uses ultrasound to evaluate the internal organs of the abdomen, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys.
It can also evaluate vascular structures of the abdomen, as well as structures of the lymphatic system.
An ultrasound is used, which is used through a transducer the emission and reception of high-frequency sound waves. This transducer moves through the skin of the patient, and above the organ that interests to study, generating images of organs and structures within the abdomen. The same ultrasound through the transducer receives these waves and creates an image of the organ under study.
Each organ or tissue returns as a sound echo the waves that by its own structure generates given the density of the tissue to which it is formed, for example, the waves that emit bone, fluids or adipose tissue will be different.
How is an abdominal ultrasound done?
It is an ultrasound done lying down, and a transparent water-based conductive gel is applied to the skin on the abdomen that serves as a means for the transmission of ultrasound.
The doctor may need to change the position while performing the study, to examine different areas of the abdomen; you may also be asked to hold your breath for short periods during the study.
This ultrasound can be requested to investigate the cause of abdominal pain, kidney infections, diagnose tumors or ascites, and evaluate the presence of lithiasis in the gallbladder or kidney, among other possible causes for the study.
What is the preparation for an abdominal ultrasound?
The person is required to fast for at least 8 hours, to facilitate the observation of all the organs to be evaluated.
Does abdominal ultrasound generate any discomfort?
It is a study done by Ultrasound Labs that generates little or no discomfort. The conductive gel can feel a bit cold and damp. It is a rapid study in general and that the patient tolerates very well.
How long is an abdominal ultrasound?
Approximately an abdominal ultrasound study lasts about 30 minutes.
Are there risks to perform the abdominal ultrasound study?
There are no risks to perform it, since it is not exposed to ionizing radiation and neither is it an invasive study.
In an abdominal ultrasound, Doppler can also be used to increase the evaluation of the organs under study, through the study of its vascularization. In the course of Doppler, you can hear sounds similar to the pulse of an artery.
After the study, the patient can resume their activities in a normal and daily manner.
One of the benefits is low whole abdomen ultrasound price, its availability, and it does not use ionizing radiation.
An image is generated in real time, being a tool that eventually serves as a guide for minimally invasive procedures such as aspiration biopsies, and fine needle aspirations for drainage of liquids in the abdomen.
It has limitations for the study of hollow organs, that is, the intestine and the stomach mainly, since the air or gas contained in these organs reflects the ultrasound beam and prevents the formation of a clear image of the organ.