Ultrasound has become a very common procedure in clinics and hospitals today. Although there are no known side effects or untoward reactions that come from ultrasound machines, it is still important that you know how to prepare for the procedure properly for safety and updated knowledge. You will find that it does not take a lot of time and effort to get ready for it, compared to other traditional diagnostic methods.
Most ultrasound procedures do not require special preparation. It is best to ask your physician to determine if you need to bring a few things or follow some guidelines before heading to the clinic. Wear loose comfortable clothes for your appointment. The basic preparations that will be required in examinations will be asking you to either come with an empty stomach or come with a full bladder. It is always a must to come early. 15 minutes before is ideal.
Different organs to be checked will need specific preparations for more accurate results. For example, a liver or gallbladder scan will require patients to fast or take nothing by month several hours before taking the test. You will only be allowed a few sips of water before the procedure. Another example is scanning during early pregnancy. The pregnant woman will be asked to drink several glasses of water and prohibited to urinate before the test. The full bladder will help diagnosticians see the uterus better since the extra bulge displaces intestine loops.
For the Patient
Remember that ultrasound machines do not hurt a bit, so you should not worry about anything. It is also a non-invasive procedure, although in some cases, it will be done together with an invasive procedure to guide the operation. If special preparations are not adequately done by the patient, the examination may be delayed since doctors only want to get the most accurate results.
Take a good night’s rest and take a shower before heading to the clinic unless told otherwise. The entire procedure will take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the organ being observed and the condition being studied. You can leave the clinic after being checked. You may drive or walk after the procedure. Normal activities like exercising, doing house chores and working or studying can be done afterwards.
Checking the Parts
Individuals aging 1 year old and above should drink water before taking the test and keep their bladder full. The organs during a pelvic ultrasound will be much clearer if you have a full bladder. You can eat as much as you want before pelvic ultrasound. For abdominal ultrasound machines, babies below 2 months of age should not be fed anything 2 hours before the procedure.
Babies aging 3 up to 12 months should not drink or eat 4 hours before taking the test. Children from 1 to 8 years old are not allowed to eat or drink 5 hours before the ultrasound. Their last meal should also be low in fat. Individuals above 8 years old are not allowed to consume anything for 6 hours before taking the test. The meal should be low in fat too.
During renal ultrasound machines, no preparation is required. If painless hematuria or presence of blood in the urine is one of the symptoms, the patients should have a full bladder prior to testing.