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Abdominal Ultrasound


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.

Abdominal ultrasound


The organs have a normal size, shape, and texture. No abnormal growths are seen. No fluid is in the belly.

The aorta looks normal. No aneurysms are seen.

The thickness of the gallbladder wall is normal. The size of the bile ducts is normal. No gallstones are seen.

No kidney stones are seen. The system that drains the kidneys is not blocked.


An organ looks abnormal. It may be smaller than normal. A growth may press against it or may be seen in an organ. Or fluid may be seen in the belly cavity. These things may be due to inflammation, infection, or other diseases.

The aorta is enlarged or an aneurysm is seen.

The liver looks abnormal. This may point to liver disease (such as cirrhosis or cancer).

The walls of the gallbladder are thickened, or fluid is found around the gallbladder. These may point to inflammation. The bile ducts may be enlarged. Or gallstones may be seen.

The kidneys or the ureters are enlarged because urine does not drain as it should. Kidney stones are seen. (But not all stones can be seen with ultrasound.)

An area of infection or a fluid-filled cyst is seen inside an organ. Or the spleen may be ruptured.

What Affects the Test

You may not be able to have the test, or the results may not be helpful, if:

  • Stool, air (or other gas), or contrast material (such as barium) is in the stomach or intestines.
  • You cannot stay still during the test.
  • You are extremely overweight.
  • You have an open or bandaged wound in the area being viewed.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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