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An abdominal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to make a picture of the organs and blood vessels in the upper belly. The sound waves appear on a video monitor. This test lets the doctor see the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and major blood vessels.
An ultrasound can be done to find out what's causing belly pain or to look at a lump or mass. The doctor can use it to check for problems in the liver and kidneys or find fluid in the belly. It can also help guide needles or other medical tools during treatment.
Most children do not feel pain during the test. If your child's belly was already hurting before the test, the slight pressure of the transducer may be somewhat painful. Your child will not hear or feel the sound waves.
The test will take about 30 minutes. You may be asked to wait until the doctor has reviewed the scan. He or she may want to do more ultrasound views of some areas of your child's belly.
Your child may be able to go home right away. Your child may be able to go back to his or her usual activities that same day.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.
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Current as of: December 19, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
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