What is an abdominal ultrasound?

the abdominal organs

When we talk about ultrasound, we find a diagnostic test that allows us to obtain two- and three-dimensional images of the patient’s organs through ultrasound. In the case of abdominal echo, the organs that we can see are those in the area near the abdominals.

We can find the standard ultrasound and the Doppler ultrasound. Its only difference is that in common, it is impossible to show the blood flow, and in the Doppler, it is, which in some cases, depending on the ailment, is necessary.

What are the reasons for performing an abdominal ultrasound?

Abdominal ultrasound allows for observing the abdominal organs (liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys and urinary bladder), ovaries and uterus in the case of women and prostate in the case of men. The most frequent reasons why this test is performed are the following:

When the patient presents abdominal pain as the primary symptom, ultrasound is an excellent method to rule out bile duct pathologies.

Another everyday use of abdominal ultrasound is as a support test to perform a liver or kidney biopsy or drain abscesses in some abdomen organs.

‘The routine ultrasounds performed throughout pregnancy to monitor the fetus are abdominal.’

What can be detected in an abdominal ultrasound?

Abdominal ultrasound is related to pathologies of the kidney, spleen, liver and stomach, which is why it is the most appropriate test for diagnosing digestive system problems.

As we mentioned in the section on the reasons for performing this test, abdominal ultrasound is a critical study to identify various pathologies of the abdomen area. Below, we list the major diseases that can be detected with this test:

  • Biliary or kidney stones
  • gallbladder infection (cholecystitis)
  • Kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and liver cancer
  • kidney infections
  • pancreatitis
  • Appendicitis
  • aneurysms

An abdominal ultrasound exam was performed.

Abdominal ultrasound is done with a gel spread over the area, and a transducer (probe) passes through it. Both elements generate sound wave images of the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen and abdominal aorta.

The test is carried out with the patient lying on the stretcher, the abdomen uncovered, and the technician will give instructions on how to position himself and when he needs to hold his breath.


Benefits and risks of an abdominal ultrasound

All are advantages for the patient who undergoes an abdominal ultrasound study. It is a safe, non-invasive imaging test without ionising radiation.

Abdominal ultrasound tests take

The estimated duration of this study ranges between 10 and 20 minutes. If its function is that of a complementary test for a liver or kidney biopsy or to drain abscesses in some organs of the abdomen, the performance time may be longer.

Comparison of abdominal ultrasound with other diagnostic tests.

Unlike other diagnostic tests, ultrasound is a safe procedure in which no ionising radiation is produced. These characteristics, positive for the patient, have made this ultrasound study the preference of many specialists for diagnosing diseases.

Likewise, on many occasions, ultrasound is a complementary test in discovering many pathologies. First, this is used and, depending on the results obtained, the need to perform another type of study that offers the definitive diagnosis is determined. If it is strictly necessary to analyse deeper abdominal structures, abdominal CT will be used, which does emit X-rays.

The price of an abdominal ultrasound

We work with different insurers, so the ultrasound cost will be completely free if you belong to Adeslas, Asia or Mapfre, among others.

At Magnetosur, we offer prices that suit all pockets so that you can have an abdominal ultrasound with reported results in 24 hours.

Prepare for an abdominal ultrasound test.

Abdominal ultrasound requires specific preparation before carrying out the study with straightforward guidelines:

To perform an abdominal ultrasound, it is only required to go fasting for 6 to 8 hours. During this period, the patient may only ingest water. This fast will also be necessary for pelvic ultrasounds.

Drink about a litre of water and keep the bladder full 2 ​​hours beforehand in the study cases of the uterus and bladder.

What will I feel during and after an abdominal ultrasound?

First, it should be noted that it is a harmless imaging test with which the patient will never feel pain. Likewise, there is no risk during or after its completion, thanks to the absence of ionising radiation.

At the time of the abdominal ultrasound, you may feel cold or wet from the gel and pressure from the transducer at certain times. After the test, no specific care is required, and no different sensation is produced.

In short, abdominal ultrasound has no adverse effects on the patient.

The professional in charge of interpreting the results of abdominal ultrasound and how I obtain them

As mentioned in the results section, the radiologist or the X-ray technician can interpret the images collected during the abdominal ultrasound. Still, the doctor is in charge of preparing the final report. Likewise, the latter also shares the results with the patient in a consultation.