An abdominal ultrasound uses the high-frequency sound waves to produce the images of the internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, etc. This write-up provides information on the benefits of this imaging procedure.
Ultrasound, which is also known as ultrasonography, is an imaging procedure that offers valuable information to the doctors regarding the condition of the internal organs of the patients. It is a non-invasive imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves for assessing the structure of the organs and view any abnormalities that might appear.
An abdominal sonography is conducted to examine organs such as the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys. More often than not, doctors order a specialized ultrasound scan can be ordered to get detailed information on the condition of a particular organ, if they have reason to believe that an organ is affected by a medical condition.
For instance, a liver ultrasound can help the doctors identify any irregularities in the structure or the function of the liver that might be due to medical conditions such as liver cancer, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, etc.
The Need for Ultrasonography
Located in the upper abdomen, liver is a glandular organ that performs many vital functions. Not only does it help in metabolizing fats and carbohydrates, it also helps in removing the harmful toxins from our body. It also secretes bile, a digestive juice that aids in the process of digestion. Health problems can develop if the liver function gets adversely affected. Therefore, it is essential that serious liver diseases such as the formation of liver cysts, enlargement of liver, bile duct obstruction, fatty liver disease, and scarring and hardening of tissues are diagnosed in the early stages.
Sonography is a very useful screening tool that helps the doctors evaluate the size, shape, texture, and the position of the liver. Even the subtle changes in the texture of the tissues and abnormalities in ducts can be viewed with the help of this imaging procedure. Cystic lesions or tumors can also be detected. This imaging procedure offers valuable insights that can help doctors diagnose liver diseases.
It is important that this imaging procedure is conducted by an ultrasound technologist or a radiologist. A person who is undergoing this procedure must consume a fat-free meal on the evening before the test. He/she must refrain from eating for about 8 to 12 hours prior to the procedure. For the test, the patient will have to lie on his/her back on the examination table. The next step involves the application of a warmed gel on the abdomen. After that, a hand-held medical equipment called a transducer is moved back and forth over the abdominal region. The transducer sends out high-frequency sound waves.
The echoes of the sound waves are received by the transducer, and are then transmitted to a computer. The data is then interpreted and formatted into two-dimensional or three-dimensional images that are seen on the monitor. This is how the shape, size, and texture of the liver or other internal organs in the abdomen can be assessed. The results of this imaging procedure can be then interpreted for making a diagnosis.
For instance, any variations in the passage of blood through the large vessels that enter or leave the liver, might be indicative of liver cirrhosis. If a solid tumor is detected, a biopsy can be performed to detect if the tumor is malignant or benign. Abnormalities in the size and structure of the liver can easily be diagnosed with the help of this imaging procedure. The cost of this procedure may range from USD 200 to USD 1,000, but in comparison to an MRI or a CT scan, ultrasonography is definitely cheaper.
An abdominal ultrasound is definitely a very useful screening tool that helps in the diagnosis of diseases associated with the organs located within abdominal cavity. The clinical significance of this imaging procedure can never be undermined.