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An abdominal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of the organs and blood vessels in the upper belly. These include your liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and major blood vessels like the aorta. The sound waves create a picture on a video monitor.
An ultrasound can be done to:
Depending on the part of your belly your doctor will be looking at, you may need to eat a fat-free meal the night before your test. Or you may need to avoid eating for 4 to 12 hours before the test. Your doctor will tell you what to do.
Most people do not feel pain during the test. If your belly hurts already from an injury or illness, the slight pressure from the transducer may be somewhat painful. You will not hear or feel the sound waves.
Follow-up care is a key part of your 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 you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Current as of: June 17, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Howard Schaff MD - Diagnostic Radiology
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