Ultrasound, or sonography, produces images of the inside of the body by generating high-frequency sound waves. As the sound waves bounce off internal organs and tissues, they create echoes. A computer then translates these echoes into images on a screen, images that can show abnormalities (disease) within the body. The process is fast, painless and completely free of radiation or harmful side effects, which is why ultrasound is often used in prenatal imaging.

Ultrasound tests sometimes use a modified technique—called Doppler—to capture moving images of the heart and large blood vessels.


For Pelvic Examinations:

  • You may eat normally.
  • Your bladder must be full for this examination. Drink at least 32 ounces of liquid one hour prior to your examination. We recommend you avoid caffeinated beverages.
  • Please do not urinate until after your examination is completed. If you are very uncomfortable, please notify our staff when you arrive.
  • Allow 45-60 minutes for the examination.

Abdominal Examinations:

  • Nothing by mouth after midnight.
  • Allow 45-60 minutes for the examination.

Kidney Examination:

  • Drink 20 ounces of water one full hour before your examination.

Examination of any other part of the body:

  • No special preparation is required.
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