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Medical Imaging

Ultrasound > Frequently Asked Questions

Are ultrasound exams harmful?

No. There is no evidence to show that ultrasound waves are harmful. Ultrasound waves do not use radiation. This is why prenatal ultrasound testing can be done using ultrasound technology.

Why do I have to drink water before my ultrasound exam?

The type of ultrasound exam will determine whether you need to drink water for the test. If the exam is an abdominal ultrasound, the patient does not need to drink water. A pelvic ultrasound requires at least 40 ounces of water one hour prior the appointment time. The full bladder serves as a window to see your pelvic organs (i.e. uterus, ovaries or prostate). Without a full bladder it is difficult to see them.

Why do I have to fast for my abdominal ultrasound?

An abdominal ultrasound requires that you fast for at least eight hours prior to your scheduled appointment. This reduces the amount of gas in your abdomen that obstructs the abdominal organs when present. Eating triggers the digestive system to take effect. This causes the gallbladder to contract, preventing the technologist from seeing abnormalities such as gallstones.

When will I get the results of my ultrasound?

If you have an appointment to see your doctor after the ultrasound, a hand-written preliminary report will be given to you and a formal, type-written report will be sent to your doctor within one week.