Medical Imaging

Ultrasound > Exams & Procedures > Abdominal

An abdominal ultrasound looks at the gallbladder, bile ducts, kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen, major artery (aorta) and vein (inferior vena cava or IVC) and the retroperitoneum.

  • The procedure takes about 30 minutes.
  • You are asked not to eat any solid food or drink anything other than water eight hours before you appointment. Medication can be taken.
  • If you are diabetic please let the receptionist know at the time of booking your appointment.
  • You will be asked to lie down on a table with your abdomen uncovered.
  • An odourless and water soluble gel will be put on your skin by the ultrasound technologist. This helps to transmit the sound waves and allows easy movement of the probe or transducer over the skin.
  • The technologist will move the probe along the skin, taking pictures of all the abdominal organs.
  • You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds at a time. This will prevent the picture from being blurred by the movement of breathing.
  • The technologist will leave the room once all the pictures are taken in order to develop the images and show them to the radiologist before letting you leave.

Does this hurt?


When will I get my results?

If you are seeing your doctor immediately after your ultrasound appointment, a hand written report preliminary will be given to you. If you are not seeing your doctor following the ultrasound test, a final report will be mailed to your doctor within seven days.