How should I prepare for the procedure?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You will need to remove all clothing and jewellery in the area to be examined.

You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.

Tell your doctor if you have had a barium enema or a series of upper GI (gastrointestinal) tests within the past two days. Barium that remains in the intestines can interfere with the ultrasound test.
Other preparations depend on the type of ultrasound you are having.

  • For a study of the liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas, you may be asked to eat a fat-free meal on the evening before the test and then to avoid eating for eight to 12 hours before the test.
  • For ultrasound of the kidneys, you may be asked to drink four to six glasses of liquid about an hour before the test to fill your bladder. You may be asked to avoid eating for eight to 12 hours before the test to avoid gas buildup in the intestines.

For ultrasound of the aorta, you may need to avoid eating for eight to 12 hours before the test.