An Abdominal Ultrasound is performed to visually evaluate abdominal organs, including the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, bile ducts, abdominal aorta and spleen, to help detect a wide range of conditions and also assess blood flow to these organs.
Ultrasound can detect cysts, abscesses, obstructions, fluid collection, clots and infection in the abdomen. In a recent study, the General Practitioner’s anticipated patient management strategy was changed for 64% of patients following upper Abdominal Ultrasound. Negative findings are important for exclusion of diseases and, therefore, for reassurance of the patient. Abdominal Ultrasound substantially reduced the number of intended referrals to a medical specialist, and more patients could be reassured by their General Practioner. (Oxford University Journal 6/2007) This study confirms the essential value of abdominal ultrasound in clinical evaluations.
There is no discomfort, risk or radiation exposure with ultrasound. There are some conditions that may interfere with the results of the abdominal ultrasound exam. The most common are severe obesity, intestinal gas and barium in the intestines from a GI series that was performed prior to the ultrasound exam.
Indications for use:
- Abdominal pain is the most common indication for an abdominal ultrasound.
- Abnormal liver function
- Enlarged abdominal organ
- Stones in the gallbladder or kidney
- Abnormal laboratory results suggestive for abdominal pathology
- Search for metastic disease
- Palpable abnormalities