An ultrasound may be performed to look at many of the organs in the abdomen such as the stomach, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bladder, or spleen. A pelvic ultrasound is able to evaluate the uterus and ovaries (in girls). Ultrasound is not able to evaluate the cellular function of the organs, but it is excellent or evaluating the presence, absence or location of organs, the structural formation of the organ, and other anatomical abnormalities.
How does the ultrasound work?
Ultrasound sends sound waves into the body using a transducer, a hand-held device that sends and receives sound waves. For the exam, the sonographer will apply warm gel to your child’s abdomen and place the transducer against his/her skin to take pictures. When the sound waves reflect back to the transducer from inside the body, an image is created on the screen. Ultrasound does NOT use radiation.
Prep for Abdominal Ultrasound (Liver, Gallbladder, Pancreas, Kidneys, and Spleen)
- Birth to Age 4 years- No food or drink for at least 3 hours prior to scan
- Age 5-12 years- No food or drink for 4-6 hours prior to scan
- Age 13 and Up years- No food or drink for 8 hours prior to scan
*If your child is fed by a tube (NJ or GJ) please stop tube feedings for the allotted time above as well as no food/drink by mouth.
Prep for Shearwave Elastography
- No food or drink 8 hours prior to scan
Prep for Pelvic Ultrasound
- Birth to Age 4 years- No prep
- Age 5-12 years- Drink water prior to exam and try not to empty bladder
- Age 13-21 years- Drink 3 cups of water prior to exam and do not empty bladder
Prep for Pyloric Ultrasound
- Nothing to eat or drink for 3 hours prior to scan. Bring bottle to give child during ultrasound
Other ways to prepare for the exam
- Medications can be taken with a small sip of water.
- If your child is diabetic, insulin can be taken.
- It may be helpful to have you child wear something easy to pull up, down or take off.
- If your child wears diapers, you may need extra diapers as gel will sometimes get on the diaper they are wearing.
- Bring a drink/snack for after the scan as your child may have had to go without anything to eat or drink for an extended period prior to the scan.