ultrasound takes pictures of the organs and other structures in your upper belly. It uses sound waves to show images on a screen.
Areas that can be checked include the:
aorta. This large blood vessel passes down the back of the chest and belly. It supplies blood to the
lower part of the body and the legs.
Liver. This large organ lies under the rib cage on the right side of the
belly. It makes bile (a substance that helps digest fat). It also stores
sugars and breaks down many of the body's waste products.
Gallbladder. This small organ is right under the liver. It stores bile. When you eat, the gallbladder
contracts to send bile to the bowels (intestines). The bile helps your body digest food and
absorb vitamins that dissolve in fat.
Spleen. This organ helps fight infection. It also filters old red blood
cells. The spleen sits to the left of the stomach, just behind the lower
Pancreas. This gland is in the upper belly. It makes
enzymes that help digest food. The digestive enzymes
then move into the bowels. The pancreas also releases
insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps the body
use sugars for energy.
Kidneys. This pair of organs is in the upper part of your belly, but toward your back. The kidneys remove wastes from the blood. They also make urine.
If your doctor needs more details about a specific organ in the upper part of your belly, you may get a special ultrasound, such as a kidney ultrasound. If you need the structures and organs in
your lower belly checked, you will get a pelvic ultrasound.