An ultrasound is a safe, painless, and quick way to see inside your body by using soundwaves. Most ultrasound scans do not require any preparation, but there are a few exceptions.
For an abdominal ultrasound, you will need to prepare for your scan. The abdominal area includes the liver, spleen, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, abdominal aorta, and biliary system. Depending on what your doctor is looking for, you may be asked to fast for a few hours before the exam. You can still drink small amounts of water. If you are diabetic, you can still take your insulin.
You will also need to prepare for a pelvic ultrasound. The pelvic area includes the urinary bladder, and the uterus and ovaries (for women). For a pelvic ultrasound, it is recommended that you must drink 32 ounces of water before the exam and you must not empty your bladder until after the ultrasound examination. Many times, this can be handled when you arrive to the imaging center.
Women may also get an ultrasound to look at their reproductive organs such as their uterus and ovaries. You can go to the restroom before this exam. A fetal ultrasound is used to look at a baby growing inside the mother’s womb. This is perhaps the most well-known type of ultrasound examination.
When preparing for the ultrasound examination, wear comfortable clothing that can easily be removed. You may need to disrobe or wear a gown, but often the technologist will be able to access the area to be examined without you having to take off all your clothes.
A water-based gel will be applied to your skin to allow the transducer to glide smoothly on the skin over the area to be examined. You will not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. The technologist will move the transducer over the skin while looking at images on a monitor. You will be awake and alert for the entirety of the procedure. The examination will be concluded once all the necessary images have been captured.
Benefits of an ultrasound:
- No pain. The diagnostic ultrasound does not require injections, needles, or incisions.
- No exposure to harmful radiation.
- Relatively less expensive when compared to other medical tests.
- Creates soft tissue images as well as hard tissue images.
- Fast procedure. The ultrasound examination usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
Our mission at Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide the patients and physicians with affordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient-friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs," with efficient service to both our patients and physicians.