HomeHealth Topics A to ZPrepping for An Ultrasound
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Prepping for An Ultrasound

By DuPage Medical Group Radiology

Based on the part of your body that is being examined, there are slightly different instructions for your Ultrasound exam.

Liver, Gallbladder, Pancreas or the Abdominal Aorta

  • Nothing to eat or drink for at least 8 hours.
  • A few sips of water is ok before your exam, medications are ok to take with a few sips of water.
  • No gum or candy before your exam. Brushing your teeth is ok.

Pelvic Organs or the Urinary Bladder

  • The basic preparation to fill your bladder is to drink 32 oz. of water (about 4 glasses or 2-16 oz. water bottles) and FINISH it 1 hour before your appointment time. For example finish 32 oz. by 9 am for a 10 am appointment.
  • The water should be consumed within 15 minutes and finished 1 hour before your appointment time.
  • It takes about 1 hour for your bladder to fill. This is just a guideline. Everyone's body is different.
  • Take any medications that you regularly take.
  • Eating a meal helps, especially in the morning.
  • Water is best. (not juice, coffee, etc.)
  • You may need to drink a little more if you are dehydrated or on certain medications.
  • If you have a hard time holding your bladder when it is full, you may need to arrive an hour and a half before your appointment and prep on location.
  • Depending on the age, children may just need to be hydrated.
  • If your bladder is not properly prepped at the appointment time, you might be asked to reschedule.
  •  If you have any concerns please don't hesitate to call and speak with a staff member.

 Female Pelvic Organs

  • DuPage Medical Group's protocol includes a transabdominal (across the low pelvic area) and a transvaginal (an internal) when a pelvic ultrasound is ordered.
  • Your doctor may specify only transabdominal for specific situations such as pediatric, disabled and non-sexually active patients.
  • The bladder is filled for the first half of the exam (transabdominal) and will be emptied for the second part (transvaginal).
  • It is not necessary to reschedule if you have vaginal bleeding.
  • If the patient has never been sexually active, the transvaginal ultrasound is generally not performed.

 If you have additional questions prior to your exam, make sure you talk to staff in the radiology department or your physician’s office who ordered the exam.


Topics and Subtopics: Diagnostic Testing & Radiology

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