An abdominal ultrasound is a medical imaging examination used to assess internal organs such as the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, spleen and kidneys.

Common reasons for undertaking this scan include pain, abnormal blood tests (e.g. liver function), jaundice, a palpable mass, bloating, nausea, trauma and follow up from other procedures.

To obtain these images, a device called a transducer is placed on your abdomen.

About this Ultrasound

Your examination will be performed by a sonographer.

Upon being taken into the examination room, the sonographer will introduce themselves and confirm your identity and examination being performed.

A clear gel is applied to the skin over the area being examined.

The ultrasound transducer is moved over the skin surface to study the structures.  During the study you will be asked to hold your breath and move into certain positions to allow better visualisation of your internal organs.

Once the images have been obtained, a Radiologist (specialist medical doctor) will review the images, and provide a written report for your referring doctor. The Radiologist may sometimes attend your examination to personally examine you or discuss your issues.

Before your Scan

You are required to fast for 6 hours prior to the exam; this means nothing to eat or drink.

Please also refrain from smoking.

If you are taking medication, this can be done with a small amount of water.

By fasting, you reduce the amount of gas present in your abdomen and allow better visualisation of your internal organs. Fasting also allows distension of the gallbladder.


Approximately 20 – 30 minutes.

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