Abdominal Ultra Sound Scan
What Is An Ultrasound Scan?
An ultra sound scan is a simple test carried out to document the size of the spleen and liver. Some patients can develop an enlarged spleen, as mast cells can increase in numbers in the spleen as well as other organs. Sometimes this enlargement can be felt during an examination of the abdomen, but this is unusual.
Is It Safe?
An ultrasound scan, sometimes called a sonogram, is a procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body, such as the heart. As sound waves are used rather than radiation, the procedure is safe. Ultrasound scans are commonly used during pregnancy to produce images of the baby in the womb.
What Happens During An Ultrasound Scan?
Most ultrasound scans don’t take long to perform, typically between 15 and 45 minutes. Your ultrasound scan will generally take place in an X-ray department in hospital and be performed either by a doctor, who will provide a diagnostic report, or by a sonographer. A sonographer is a specialist trained in the use of ultrasound, who will provide a descriptive report for the doctor to make a diagnosis.
An external ultrasound scan is the type of scan most often used to examine your heart or an unborn baby in your womb, so it is very likely you have already seen the procedure in movies.
A small handheld device called a transducer is placed onto your skin, and moved over the part of the body being examined.
A lubricating gel is put onto your skin. The gel allows the transducer to move smoothly ensuring there is continuous contact between the sensor and the skin. The transducer is connected to a computer and a monitor. Pulses of ultrasound are sent from a probe in the transducer, through your skin and into your body. They then bounce back from the structures of your body to be displayed as an image on the monitor.
As well as producing still pictures, an ultrasound scan shows movement that can be recorded onto video.
You should not feel anything other than the sensor and gel on your skin (which is often cold).
At the end of the procedure, you will be handed tissues to remove the excess gel from your skin. You may feel a bit sticky afterwards, but it is nothing that a shower wouldn't resolve.
Here is a short (2:40) video clip, outlining the procedure: