Ultrasound patient information
Your understanding of the tests and treatments you receive is very important to everyone at Community Howard Regional Health System. Therefore, this information is meant to acquaint you with standard procedures followed in a routine ultrasound. It provides you with the basic facts and information about this test. Read the material, share it with your family, and ask any clarifying questions of the nurse or technologist.
An ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear. These sound waves pass through body tissues and cause echoes. These echoes are different dependent upon the density of the body tissues. The echoes are recorded and translated into a video or photographic images. These images help in the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases.
Typically, there is little or no preparation for an ultrasound, but for some ultrasound exams, you may be asked to follow specific preparations listed below.
- Ultrasound of the abdomen
- Ultrasound of the kidneys
- Ultrasound of the gallbladder
- Ultrasound of the liver
- Ultrasound of the abdominal aorta
Day before the exam: Have nothing to eat, drink, smoke, or chew after midnight the evening before the exam.
Infants: Ultrasound for pyloric stenosis
Nothing to eat or drink 3 hours prior to exam
Pelvic ultrasound and uterine (OB) ultrasound
Day of exam: Drink 32 ounces of fluid (anything except milk, please) one hour before the exam. Do not go to the bathroom and empty your bladder until after the exam is completed.
Prostate (transrectal) ultrasound
Day of exam: Please obtain one box of Dulcolax suppositories from any pharmacy (over-the-counter, no prescription required). Insert Dulcolax into rectum on the morning of your exam.
- Arrive at Community Howard Regional Health System’s Registration Department.
- You will be asked to put on a special gown.
- You will be asked to lie on your back on a table.
- A small amount of gel will be applied to the skin of the area to be examined. This gel is not harmful to the skin and will be removed after the examination is completed.
- A wand-like device, called a transducer, is gently applied against the skin. The transducer transmits the high-frequency sound waves needed to perform the exam.
- You may be asked to hold your breath several times during the exam.
A radiologist will review the images taken during your ultrasound. The radiologist will let your doctor know the findings. Your doctor will discuss these findings and what they mean about your health with you during a later visit.
Your comfort during this procedure is very important to the staff at Community Howard Regional Health System. Please let the technologist know if there is something that can be done to make you more comfortable during this procedure. If you have other questions not answered on this sheet, please don’t hesitate to call the Imaging Services Department at 765-453-8413. Thank you for allowing us to service your healthcare needs.