A lower abdomen ultrasound can be used to assess the appendix and other pelvic structures to define possible causes of pain.

In most people the appendix is located in the right lower aspect of the abdomen but it is not uncommon for the pain to also be situated around the belly button. It is a common first choice in imaging children with suspicious signs of appendicitis as there is no ionizing radiation used in ultrasound.

About this Ultrasound

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

A clear gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined. The ultrasound probe is then moved over the skin surface to study the structures below. During the study you will be asked to hold your breath and move into certain positions to allow visualisation of your organs. Some pressure may be required to obtain the best images.

Once your examination is completed a radiologist (specialist medical doctor) will review the sonographer’s images, and provide a written report for your doctor. The Radiologist may attend your examination to personally examine and discuss your issue.

Before your Scan

For males there is no preparation but generally for females a full bladder is required.

Distension of your bladder allows us to assess ovaries and other surrounding structures which may also be the cause of pain.

Drink one litre of water finishing one hour prior to your appointment and do not empty your bladder. If you find that you are feeling overly full and it is causing you pain or distress, please advise reception staff on arrival and you will be instructed of your options.

For children please try to drink 200-500mL of water; amount dependent on age.

It is a good idea to wear clothing that allows easy access to the area that is being imaged, two piece clothing is ideal (separate upper/lower garments).

Duration

Approximately 20 – 30 minutes.