Abdominal Ultrasound

1 What is an Abdominal Ultrasound?

An abdominal ultrasound is done in order to evaluate abdominal structures including the abdominal aorta.

It can also be done to check for a number of conditions. It is often a screening method of choice for detecting an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a weakened, bulging spot under your abdominal aorta.

This artery runs through the middle of your abdomen and supplies blood to the lower part of your body.

An abdominal ultrasound to screen for an abdominal aortic aneurysm is mostly required for men aged between 65 to 75 who are usually current of former smokers.

Having an Abdo recommended sound screening for an adbominal aortic aneurysm is not specifically recommende for men or women have never smoked.

A doctor will only recommend it if he or she suspects that you may have an aneurysm.

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2 Reasons for Procedure

Here are the most common reasons to undergo an abdominal ultrasound.

The doctor will only recommend the procedure under suspicion of a possible aneurysm.

A one-time abdominal aortic ultrasound is recommended for men between the ages of 65 to 75, most of whom are either current or former cigarette smokers.

Routine screening for an abdominal aneurysm is not recommended for women and it is quite unclear if men who have never smoked can benefit from the procedure.

The risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysm may include:

Another possible reason why your doctor may recommend an abdominal aortic ultrasound include if he or she thinks you might have a problem with other organs in your abdomen, such as:

  • the kidneys
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • pancreas
  • and spleen

Ultrasound can be utilized to evaluate a number of conditions, including:

3 Preparing for your Procedure

In preparing for your abdominal ultrasound, you must follow your doctor’s orders. 

It is advised to fast for a period of 12 hours before an abdominal ultrasound can be performed.

Food and other liquids in the stomach can interfere with the picture produced by the ultrasound.

Ask your doctor if it is ok to drink water during the fasting period and if you should continue to take medication.

4 What to Expect

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your abdominal ultrasound procedure.

A typical ultrasound takes up to 30 minutes to complete. A change into a hospital gown may be suggested swell.

Your abdominal ultrasound is performed by a specially trained technician called a sonographer. During this procedure, you lie on your back and a small amount of warm gel is applied to your abdomen.

The function of this gel is to eliminate the formation of air pockets between the skin and an instrument known as a transducer.

Afer the abdominal ultrasound, the doctor will discuss the results of the procedure with you at a later time.

In most cases, if no aneurysm or other problems are discovered, your doctor will recommend additional screening. If an aneurysm or any other problem are found, your doctor will discuss further tests and treatment options with you.

5 Procedure Results

Your doctor will analyse the result images from the abdominal ultrasound to determine whether you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm or not.

If you do he or she may make the following recommendations:

Watchful waiting

In cases where your aneurysm is smaller than about 2 inches or 5 centimeters in diameter, your doctor may not think that your aneurysm is not serious enough to require surgery. If this is the case, the doctor may monitor your condition using ultrasound exams or other imaging tests usually every 6 to 12 months.

Open aneurysm repair

If an aneurysm is serious enough to require surgery, your doctor may require an open aneurysm repair. In this procedure, your doctor opens your abdomen, removes the portion of your abdominal aorta which has an aneurysm and replaces it with a tubelike graft.

Endovascular stent graft

This procedure reinforces the weakened portion of the abdominal aorta with a graft similar to the one used for open aneurysm repair. This less invasive procedure has the doctor attaching a synthetic graft to the end of a catheter that is inserted into an artery in your leg and threaded up into our aorta. The graft is a woven tube covered by a metallic mesh support.

It is placed at the site of an aneurysm and fastened in place with small hooks and pins. Recovery time for individuals with endovascular surgery is generally shorter than for people who have had open surgery.

However, follow-up appointments are more frequent because endovascular grafts can leak. Long-term survival rates are similar for both endovascular surgery and open surgery. 

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