An abdomen/chest wall ultrasound is used to assess for lumps, hernias and fluid collections that may be located in the chest or abdominal wall. The ultrasound mostly looks at the muscles and soft tissues in this area of the body, but can also see nerves, blood vessels and blood flow.
Your examination will be performed by a sonographer who will introduce themselves and confirm your identity and the procedure you are having. First, a gel is applied to the skin over the area to be examined (chest or abdominal wall), so the ultrasound probe can move easily over the surface. The scan should not cause pain, but if you are tender in this area, there may be some minor discomfort.
If you are having a scan to investigate a hernia, you will be requested to strain in an attempt to reproduce the symptoms. You may be asked to stand while being scanned to display any hernia that may be present.
Your images will be looked at by a radiologist who will provide a written report for your doctor. Sometimes, the radiologist will speak to you in person during the examination.
Before your Scan
There is generally no preparation required.
If your scan is to look for conditions such as appendicitis or kidney stones that may be causing you pain in your lower abdomen, sometimes having a full bladder for the scan is helpful. Please discuss this at the time of booking your appointment.
If possible, wear clothing that allows easy access to the area being scanned, such as two-piece clothing (separate upper/lower garments).
Approximately 15 – 30 minutes.
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