What is a General Diagnostic or Cardiovascular Ultrasound?
A General Diagnostic Ultrasound provides real-time images of the major organs of the body. This type of Ultrasound may be used to diagnose abdominal aortic aneurysms, renal masses, gallstones, pancreatic masses, liver disease, splenic infections or common bile duct obstructions.
A General Diagnostic or Cardiovascular Ultrasound can also be used for the following purposes:
- Guide procedures such as needle biopsies, in which needles are used to sample cells from an abnormal area for laboratory testing.
- Image the breasts and guide biopsy of breast cancer (see the Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy page.
- Diagnose a variety of heart conditions, including valve problems and congestive heart failure, and to assess damage after a heart attack. Ultrasound of the heart is commonly called an “echocardiogram” or “echo” for short.
Reasons for an Ultrasound
- Ascites (Fluid in Abdomen)
- Fatty Liver
- Elevated Bilirubin/Jaundice
- Abdominal Pain
- Gas Pain
- Urinary Obstruction
- Abnormal Liver Function Test
What an Ultrasound Can Determine
- Kidney Stones
- Renal Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Pancreatic/ GB Cancer
- Mass or Cyst
- Spleen Enlargement
- Liver Enlargement
- Aortic Aneurysm
How should I prepare?
Please remember to bring your prescription and insurance card with you on the day of your appointment.
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You may need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined.
You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.
Preparation for the procedure will depend on the type of examination you will have. For some scans, your doctor may instruct you not to eat or drink for as many as 12 hours before your appointment. For others, you may be asked to drink up to six glasses of water two hours prior to your exam and avoid urinating so that your bladder is full when the scan begins.
Are you ready for an Ultrasound?