Ultrasound Scan

Ultrasound Scan

Ultrasound equipment uses sound waves to make a picture of the inside of different parts of the body.  The picture can be seen on a TV screen.  This picture is transferred to a computer for the doctor to view (Picture 1).

Different preparation is needed for this test depending on the part of the body being scanned.

The doctor or nurse will check the directions (on page 2) that you will need to follow to prepare your child for the test.

If your child’s test is not listed on the next page, there is NO preparation.

  • The ultrasound test takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
  • Two adults are allowed in the exam room with the child.  All other children will have to wait in the reception area.
  • A DVD player is provided so your child may bring a favorite DVD to watch during the test.  You may also want to bring a favorite toy or book to keep your child entertained.

ABDOMEN (includes gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, liver, and kidney)     

Your child should have no carbonated beverages (soda pop) 24 hours before the test. Give your child a low fat meal the evening before the test (no fried food).         

  • 0 - 1 year old : No food or drink 4 hours before the test.
  • 2 - 9 years old : No food or drink 6 hours before the test.
  • 10 years old and up: No food or drink 8 hours before the test.

ABDOMEN WITH FATTY MEAL CHALLENGE   

The day of test:  Your child will be required to eat a meal that is high in fat after the ultrasound is finished.  About 1 hour after your child finishes eating, you will bring him or her back to the Ultrasound Department for more pictures of the gallbladder.  These pictures will only take about 10 to 15 minutes to do. Please plan on about 2 hours of total time for this test to be completed.     

  • Your child should have no carbonated drinks (soda pop) 24 hours before the test. 
  • Give your child a low-fat meal the evening before the test (no fried food).
  • No food or drink 8 hours before the test.  This includes no gum or mints.

RENAL – kidney and bladder       

Your child may have a normal breakfast or lunch. He or she will need to arrive at the hospital with a comfortably full bladder. Have your child use the toilet before leaving home for the test. On the way to the hospital have your child drink the amount of liquids on this chart.  He should not urinate after starting to drink the liquids.     

  • 0 - 2  years old : Encourage him or her to drink fluids one hour before the test.
  • 3 - 4 years old : Drink 8 ounces of liquid one hour before the exam time.  Encourage your child not to use the toilet.
  • 5 - 10 years old : Drink 12 to 16 ounces of fluid 1 hour before the exam time.  Encourage your child not to use the toilet.
  • 11 years old and up : Drink 32 ounces 1 to 2 hours before the exam time. Encourage your child not to use the toilet.

PELVIS - uterus, ovaries, or appendix   

Your child may have a normal breakfast or lunch.  Your child MUST have a full bladder for this test. If the child’s bladder is not full upon arrival, we may have to reschedule or use a catheter (small tube) to fill the bladder.

  • 0 - 2 years old : Encourage your child to drink fluids one hour before the test.
  • 3 - 5 years old : Drink 8 ounces of liquid 1 hour before the test.  Encourage your child not to use the toilet.
  • 6 - 10 years old : Drink 16 ounces of liquid 1 to 1 ½ hours before the test. Encourage your child not to use the toilet.
  • 11 years old to adult : Drink 32 ounces of liquid 1 ½ to 2 hours before the test. Encourage your child not to use the toilet.        

HIP/SPINE    

Please bring your child hungry and tired.  Please bring a bottle.  You will be able to feed your child during the test. This makes the test much easier for the child.

BRAIN           

Please bring your child hungry and tired.  Please bring a bottle.  You will be able to feed your child during the test. This makes the test much easier for the child.

What Happens During the Test

  • In the Ultrasound Room, your child will see a machine with a small TV screen on it. 
  • A special camera is connected to the machine by a long cord.  The machine uses soundwaves to make a picture.  Next to the machine is a hospital cart.
  • Warm lotion will be put on your child’s skin over the part of the body being tested.
  • The lights will be turned down so that you will be able to see the image on the TV.  Your child must hold very still during the test.
  •  The technologist will move the camera gently across the skin to make pictures of the inside of the body.  The camera will touch your child’s body, but it will not hurt.  It might make him laugh if he is ticklish.  You and your child can watch the pictures on the TV screen as they are being made.

After the Test

  • The lotion (gel) will be wiped off your child’s skin.
  • It will take about 15 minutes to check all the pictures.  A radiologist may also want to take some pictures.  When the test is over, your child may return to regular daily activities and meals.
  • After the results are completed, the report will be sent to your doctor.  The technologist will not be able to give you the results.  Your doctor will discuss the results of the test with you.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or technologist, or call (614) 722-2377.

Ultrasound Scan (PDF)

HH-III-54 2/80    Revised 11/15    Copyright 1980, Nationwide Children’s Hospital