Ultrasound Frequently Asked Questions


Will the ultrasound hurt my baby?

No, the ultrasound is a very safe test that uses no radiation; it has been used for years to evaluate pregnancy.

Does an ultrasound hurt, and will I need to have an IV started?

No, the ultrasound does not hurt. You may feel pressure as it is being done, but no pain. There is no reason to have an IV started before the test.

How long will the exam take?

It depends on the type of exam you are having. Most of our exams last about 30 minutes. If you are having a procedure it may last longer but it will be explained to you prior to starting your study.

Will I need to drink anything before the ultrasound test?

We no longer require a full bladder for a Pelvic Ultrasound so you do not need to drink anything before your ultrasound.

Can I eat before my ultrasound of my gallbladder?

No. As we eat, it causes the gallbladder to contract, or get smaller. Thus, it is advised to not eat before the test. We also ask that you do not eat for 6-8 hours before an ultrasound of your abdomen. When you refrain from eating it decreases the amount of gas in your stomach and allows us to see your organs better. We also image your gallbladder in an abdominal ultrasound as well and it is important for it not to be contracted.

Will I need someone to drive me home after the ultrasound?

No, the ultrasound test is very easy and will not affect your ability to drive.

What happens during a vascular ultrasound examination?

If you are having an arterial or venous examination, ultrasound will be used to evaluate the flow of blood and plaque formation in the vessels of the legs or arms. If you have been referred for a vascular evaluation of the abdomen then ultrasound will be used to evaluate blood flow to the abdominal organs.

How lond does a vascular exam take?

The typical vascular exam takes about an hour, this includes the time for the technologist to take a history have the patient undress, dress, perform the exam and document the findings. Sometimes the exam may be a little longer or even shorter depending on the findings.

What does an ultrasound of the heart show?

An echocardiogram or ultrasound of the heart can evaluate a heart murmur, diagnose and determine heart valve disease and function, show anatomic variation and disfunction of structures of the heart, assess wall motion and damage to the heart muscle after heart attack, show the function of the heart in patients with chronic heart disease and identify tumors in the heart to name only a few.


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