Ultrasound is a real-time imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to evaluate tissues and organs throughout the body. This type of imaging is known to be safer than X-rays and CT scans because it does not use ionizing radiation.
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At NYU Langone, our subspecialized expert radiologists offer abdominal ultrasounds of organs including:
Preparation for your ultrasound depends on the type of exam—our scheduling associate reviews this with you when you schedule your appointment. Some ultrasounds require fasting for several hours before the study.
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. Certain exams may require you to wear a gown, which we provide. We have private dressing rooms with lockers for your clothes and valuables, although we suggest you leave your valuables at home if possible.
Bring your prescription, insurance card, and any related insurance forms or pre-approvals. Please bring previous imaging study results, such as X-ray, ultrasound, MRI scans, and CT scans, including reports, films, or CD-ROMs, if available and related to your ultrasound examination.
When you schedule your appointment, our scheduling associate lets you know how early to arrive. Depending on the type of exam, this may be 30 to 60 minutes before your scheduled appointment. This allows time for registration and to complete all necessary paperwork, forms, and questionnaires.
Ultrasound examinations are performed by one of our highly trained staff of sonologists or board-certified radiologists at NYU Langone. During the exam, you lie on a table or sit in a chair in one of our dedicated ultrasound rooms.
First, a clear gel is applied to the area of interest, which improves the image quality of the study. Then the sonologist places an ultrasound transducer on the area of interest and saves important images. The sonologist often reviews his or her findings with the radiologist, who may do additional imaging to guarantee a complete study.
A written report is sent to your referring doctor. Copies of this report should be available at your referring doctor’s office. If fluid was aspirated or a mass was biopsied, the samples are sent to our laboratory for analysis. These results are also sent to your doctor.
If you are scheduled for a diagnostic study and no needles are used, then you should be able to leave without assistance immediately after the study is completed, and resume your regular daily activities without limitation.
If you undergo an interventional or therapeutic ultrasound that entails an injection, aspiration, or biopsy, you are monitored for a short time after the study is completed by one of our nurses. You should be able to leave our department without assistance, although this may vary depending on the procedure you undergo.
You should be able to resume your regular daily activities within one to two days. Your final instructions are given to you, including an information sheet with clear directions, at the time of your ultrasound.
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