Ultrasound is a safe type of study that can be done for a specific diagnostic purpose as well as for routine dispensation. However, you will need to prepare for the abdominal examination. You should provide good visibility so that you may get good results.
What’s included in the study
The standard ultrasound examination of abdominal organs includes:
- Gallbladder with ducts
- Kidneys and adrenal glands (if ultrasound is performed not only for abdominal, but also perky space).
In most cases, when undergoing ultrasound of abdominal organs, patients incorrectly expect information of the uterus, prostate, stomach, colon and small intestines. Separate studies should be done to examine these organs such as ultrasound of pelvic organs, gastroscopy and colonoscopy.
Abdominal ultrasound is convenient because it includes many paranchimatous (non-hollow with the exception of gallbladder) organs such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, adrenal glands and lymph nodes of this region. This study enables the doctor to determine the cause of the disease by the signs and symptoms and identify the damaged organ.
Preparation for abdominal ultrasound
Since the doctor examines the digestive and excretion systems through ultrasound, pre-preparation is required. It includes:
- A special diet
- Before the study, you should not eat food for 8 hours or more
- Do not take water just before visiting the doctor
Preparation is needed to prevent the formation of gas and an adhesive gall bladder. You should not undergo an enema before ultrasound if there were no direct prescriptions from the doctor in charge.
Diet before examination
Three to four days prior to the examination, you should not consume diet products that will increase the formation of gas such as black bread, dairy products, nuts, mushrooms, fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, sauerkraut, coffee, alcohol and fizzy drinks. You should also limit the consumption of fatty meats and sweets.
The list is quite impressive, but from the permitted products you can make a great menu. Moreover, this diet will be needed for only a couple of days. At this time, you can consume:
- Low-fat poultry and fish
- Baked apples without sugar
- A small number of eggs
- Hard cheese with a low percentage of fat.
The doctor can prescribe drugs that will improve digestion and reduce the formation of gas.
You should not also overeat during the days of preparation but instead consume little amount of food but often and drink lots of fluids. You should take water, soft herbal tea and drinks without any added sugar.
What to do before the procedure
You are not supposed to consume any food 8 hours before the ultrasound and the last meal should not include meat and fish dishes. If there was a doctor’s prescription, the you should complement it with activated charcoal.
You should not drink water, smoke or take medication just before the examination.
What to bring with you for examination
You should wear clothing that can easily be taken off or rolled up such as a loose T-shirt or shirt, pants without a tight belt. Ensure you carry everything you might need during the test such as:
- Your previous ultrasound results so that the doctor can immediately assess the dynamics.
- Test results, if you have recently gone through them.
- Referral from the attending physician so that the ultrasound specialist knows which organ to pay attention to.
- Passport and policy.
How abdominal ultrasound is done
Ultrasound examination of abdominal organs is carried out transabdomine, that is, through the abdominal walls. You will not need to undress but simply raise the edge of your clothes to your chest. The doctor will apply a gel on your stomach which moves the sensor during the examination. The patient should completely relax the abdominal wall because the sensor might be pressed to the stomach for a better image.
Depending on the organ being examined, the doctor may ask you to strain your stomach by taking a deep breath and holding your breath. Organs such as the kidneys can be examined both from the abdomen and from the back and for this reason you will need to roll over on the side. This procedure is painless and does not cause any discomfort and it usually takes about half an hour.
The ultrasound results are provided immediately. If necessary, you can print several frames from the device. The examination document will show the size of the organs, their location, changes that have been found and the pathology.
If you find of the disease, the doctor will refer you straight to the right specialist, either a gastroenterologist, nephrologist, urologist or gynaecologist. For preventive purposes, so that you do not miss the development of the pathology, doctors may recommend that you conduct an ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity at least once a year.