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 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.
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.