You are scheduled for an ultrasound appointment… What should you expect?

First of all, what is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound, also known as a sonogram, is a non-invasive imaging method 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 is commonly used to image:

- Abdominal and pelvic organs

- Breasts

- Fetus

- Thyroid glands

- Heart

- Testes

- Blood flow in arteries and veins

What Should You Expect?

1. You will be positioned on a comfortable exam table and a clear gel will be applied to your skin

2. A hand-held device that sends and receives ultrasound signals, is moved back and forth over the area of your body being imaged

3. Images instantly are captured on a television-like monitor

4. These images are digitally transferred to our radiologist to review and interpret

5. Depending on the type of exam, it usually takes from 30-60 minutes to complete

6. After the exam you will be able to return to your normal activities.

Ultrasound Exam Prep

If you are scheduled for an ultrasound, here are a couple key things to do before your exam:

- Abdominal exams: No food or drink 8 hours before your appointment.

- Bladder and pelvic exams: drink 32 ounces of water 1 hour before your appointment time and hold your bladder.

- Take your medications as usual with small sips of water.

- Arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

Click below for a downloadable file including the complete list of ultrasound exam preparation instructions.

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