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What is an ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a simple, safe, painless diagnostic procedure that bounces high-frequency sound waves off parts of the body and captures the returning “echoes” as images. There is no injection or radiation exposure associated with ultrasound.
Ultrasound can capture moving images of the pelvic and abdominal function, breast abnormalities, the male reproductive system, the kidney and thyroid systems (including gallstones), and fetal development, among other applications.
When enhanced with a special Doppler technique, ultrasound can also capture moving blood images of the heart and large blood vessels. To learn more about ultrasounds and how they're used in our office, visit a GI Alliance location to connect with a GI doctor.
How is an abdominal ultrasound performed?
While lying down, a clear conducting gel is applied to the skin over the abdomen. A handheld transducer is then moved over the abdomen. The ultrasound machine will then produce images of the abdomen inside the body by sending out high-frequency sound waves that reflect off of body tissue. The computer will then receive the sound waves and create a picture.
From time to time your healthcare provider might ask you to adjust your position in order to view other areas of your abdomen. It is also not uncommon to be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. To learn more about abdominal ultrasounds, schedule an appointment in a GI Alliance office to visit a gastrointestinal specialist.
How do I prepare for an abdominal ultrasound?
For an abdominal ultrasound, you will be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything after midnight. You should contact the radiology department if you are scheduled late in the afternoon or are diabetic. You will be contacted with additional instructions if necessary. Schedule an appointment in a GI Alliance practice to speak with a GI physician about when an abdominal ultrasound is necessary for your treatment.
Optimal care when you need it
An abdominal ultrasound might be the right option for you. Get to the bottom of your stomach problems and let our gastroenterologists at GI Alliance help to evaluate any cause of stomach pain or bloating that you’ve experienced.
My infrequent visits with Dr. Cooley were for colonoscopies spaced years apart until after one preliminary exam in 2017 he requisitioned an abdominal ultrasound which revealed a large mass on a kidney. I'm sure Dr. Cooley's suspicion and initiative in pursuing this made a significant difference in the positive outcome 5 years later. His knowledge of the complete digestive system is complemented by an attitude that's not just a bedside manner but appears to be a natural sense of empathy for a patient health.