Abdominal ultrasound is a procedure that uses sound waves to show images of the organs and structures in your upper belly. It does not use radiation and is safe for most people.
For the test, you will lie on an exam table. A health care provider will put a clear, water-based gel on your belly over the area to be examined. The gel helps the sound waves travel through your body more easily. A handheld probe called a transducer is then moved over your belly. The procedure is painless. However, lying still or flat for the test may cause mild discomfort. If Doppler ultrasound is part of your test, you will hear clicking sounds when the transducer is pressed against your blood vessels.
Peering Inside: A Comprehensive Guide to Abdominal Ultrasound and Its Applications
The sonographer will move the transducer around your belly to create pictures of different areas. The images are shown on a monitor. The test takes about 30 minutes. After the test is finished, the health care provider will wipe off any remaining gel.
Your doctor will discuss the results with you. If needed, your doctor can use the ultrasound information to make a diagnosis. Your doctor will also send your ultrasound images to a specialist called a radiologist for further analysis.