An abdominal 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:
Abdominal 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.
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.