What are Abdominal or Abdomen Ultrasounds?
An ultrasound of the abdomen or pelvis uses high frequency sound waves to create a live image from inside of a patient’s body. It is a painless test that is very commonly used in the medical field today. An ultrasound is also sometimes referred to as a sonogram, diagnostic sonography, or ultrasonography. The medical professional that performs an ultrasound is called a sonographer.
As an ultrasound uses sound waves rather than radiation, it is regarded as being a safe scan. Because of this, it is the preferred method to use during pregnancy.
An ultrasound diagnoses problems with internal organs, blood vessels, and soft tissue structures within the body. Although generally associated with being used during pregnancy, an ultrasound is used to examine many other parts of the body including the gallbladder, liver, kidneys, pancreas, bladder, and many other internal structures.
Many organs in your body can be seen during a quality ultrasound of the abdomen or pelvis including:
Organs that help break down the food you eat and get rid of waste through bowel movements such as your stomach, gallbladder, intestines, liver, pancreas and spleen.
Organs that make or produce urine and allow you to urinate including your kidneys, urethra (urinary tract), bladder and ureters can also be seen with an abdominal or pelvic ultrasound.
Reproductive organs can also be seen in an abdominal or pelvic ultrasound. In women, these organs include the uterus (womb), ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, and vagina. In men, these organs include the testicles, scrotum, penis and prostate gland.
Reasons for an Abdominal Ultrasound:
Ultrasounds are used for a multitude of reasons. A physician may order an ultrasound if a patient is experiencing any pain, swelling, or other abnormalities that require an internal view of the organs.
An abdominal or pelvic ultrasound can be used to guide doctors or surgeons during a procedure, such as a biopsy. They are important in planning for certain types of therapy and surgery, as well as in the aftermath to determine whether the patient’s body is responding to treatment.
Ultrasounds can be used to detect cysts, obstructions, and infections in the body. They can also measure blood flow in the arteries to detect blockages.
An ultrasound may be used to check for certain cancers in various different ways including to detect abnormal tumors, growths or lumps.
An Abdominal Ultrasound may help diagnose (find):
An abdominal or pelvic ultrasound may help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and lumps.
Ultrasounds of the abdomen or pelvis can diagnose ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and uterine growths.
An abdominal or pelvic ultrasound may also help diagnose the cause of pelvic pain, abnormal periods, or other abnormalities with the female reproductive system.
An ultrasound of the abdomen or pelvis can identify gallstones, an infected gallbladder, thickening of the gallbladder wall, and excess fluid surround the gallbladder.
An abdominal or pelvic ultrasound can find blockages in the bile ducts.