February 29, 2024Read More
If you have sudden or unidentified pain in your belly or side or experience severe unexplained bloating, you may be referred for an abdominal ultrasound. The live images produced by an ultrasound can help your doctor diagnose and locate abnormal conditions or injuries, and to monitor the progress of their treatment.
An ultrasound is a safe, low-risk imaging scan that uses sound waves to create pictures of the internal structures of your body. The ultrasound technician, also known as a sonographer, uses an instrument called a transducer to transmit high-frequency sound waves into your body through a sound-conducting gel. Those sound waves create echoes when they meet your internal organs and tissues, which are then compiled into live images that can be seen on a monitor.
Your abdominal cavity contains several organs, including the gallbladder, intestines, kidneys, liver, pancreas and spleen, as well as bile ducts, the aorta and other blood vessels. An ultrasound can help your doctor locate and diagnose many different conditions or abnormalities that can arise in that region, as well as sites and signs of injury. You might be sent for an abdominal ultrasound for several reasons, including:
Depending on your situation and circumstances, an abdominal ultrasound might reveal any number of different abnormalities, including:
While ultrasounds can give doctors an excellent view, they may have limitations depending on what they reveal. You may require supplemental imaging for clarification. For instance, if an abdominal ultrasound shows a tumor-like mass, a biopsy or CT scan might be needed to identify if the tumor is benign or cancerous.
An abdominal ultrasound is an external procedure. Depending on the area being scanned, you’ll lie on your back or side. The ultrasound technician will cover your skin with conductive gel, and then run the transducer through it. Abdominal ultrasounds generally last between 30-60 minutes.
There are some things you can do to prepare for your abdominal ultrasound:
Your ultrasound technician can’t answer questions about the results of your scan, but you can ask questions about the procedure, such as:
The ultrasound technician is not legally allowed to discuss the findings of your scan with you. Your sonographer will forward the images to the radiologist for interpretation, then the radiologist will send the images and a report to your referring physician. After that, your doctor will set up a follow-up appointment with you to discuss the results.
Here are some questions you might want to ask your doctor at your follow-up appointment:
When you’re in pain or suffering from new and unexplained symptoms, you likely want fast access to your results. With PocketHealth, you can have rapid access to your abdominal ultrasound images, often even before your follow-up appointment.
PocketHealth provides safe, secure access so you can see, read and store all your medical images and results in one place. You can view your abdominal ultrasound images in diagnostic quality, and share them with other medical specialists if required.
Radiologist reports can be full of complex medical terminology. PocketHeath Report Reader can help you understand what you’re reviewing by providing definitions of medical terms. Report Reader will also spotlight any follow-up recommendations, so you’ll always be completely up-to-date when you meet with your doctor to discuss your results. Access your records today.
If you experience strange or sudden symptoms in your back, belly or side, an abdominal ultrasound can provide valuable insight. Abdominal ultrasound images can help your healthcare team diagnose illness or identify injuries, and monitor the course of any recommended treatment. If you have access to your abdominal ultrasound images and report, you can have more engaged and informed conversations with your doctor.
Get fast, secure access and a better understanding of your health by using PocketHealth. With all your medical images and results in one place, you’ll be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health journey.