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Abdominal Ultrasound

An abdominal ultrasound is a simple, painless and very effective imaging test. It is used to look at organs in the abdomen, including the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, spleen and aorta. Using an ultrasound beam, it produces diagnostic images of the various soft tissues.

As with any ultrasound, this test does not employ x-rays and can be used to:

  • diagnose a disease (look for tumours and infections, explore an inflammatory disorder)
  • monitor the evolution of a pathology (cancer surveillance)

Examination procedure

For the test, we will ask you to lie down comfortably on the examination table so that the technologist can apply a warm gel to the area to be observed.

Preparing for the Examination (for adults)

To ensure that your abdominal ultrasound is a success, please follow these guidelines:

If your test is in the morning:

  • Do not eat any solid or liquid food after midnight. You can, however, take your medication with a minimum amount of water.
  • Do not chew gum, as this will make you swallow air and degrade the quality of the test.

If your test is after 1 p.m.:

  • Fast for 4 to 6 hours before the test. You can, however, take your medication with a minimum amount of water.
  • Do not eat fatty foods in the morning (e.g., muffins, eggs, cheese, sausage, bacon, peanut butter or other nut-based butters, butter or margarine). As an example, you can eat a portion of oatmeal with fruit, bread with jam, or any other equivalent food if you are gluten intolerant.
  • Do not chew gum, as this will make you swallow air and degrade the quality of the test.

Preparing for the Examination (for children)

  • Newborn to 2 years old: 4 hours of fasting (if the child does not eat, he/she can drink water 2 hours before the scan)
  • 3 years to 13 years: 4 to 6 hours of fasting
  • 14 years and older: consult the section preparing for the examination for adults

A medical prescription is required to perform this examination.

The costs of this examination are covered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

If your healthcare professional has prescribed this examination or if you have any questions, contact us at 1 833 590-2715.