Franciscan Health physicians use abdominal ultrasounds to detect, measure or monitor an aneurysm in the abdominal aorta. An aneurysm in this location can cause a large, pulsing lump in the abdomen that is visible via ultrasound.
An abdominal aortic ultrasound is used when a physician suspects the presence of an aneurysm or needs to monitor an aneurysm in the abdominal aorta. The abdominal aorta is the large blood vessel (artery) that passes down the back of the chest and abdomen. The aorta supplies blood to the lower part of the body and the legs.
An abdominal ultrasound uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of the abdominal aorta. If an aneurysm is present, it often can be seen as a large, pulsing lump in the ultrasound image.
You will need to fast completely for four hours prior to the ultrasound examination. Once you arrive in the ultrasound room, you will need to remove clothing from the waist up and put on a hospital gown. A sonographer will use ultrasound equipment and a special gel to take images and measurements at different locations on your abdomen. This procedure is completely noninvasive.
The sonographer will not provide you with any results at the time of the examination. A trained cardiologist will interpret the study and will provide your family physician with a written report. Your primary care physician (or the provider who ordered the study) will follow up with you on the results within a week.