An abdominal Reference ultrasound Opens New Window uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of the organs and other structures in the upper abdomen. Sometimes a specialized ultrasound is ordered for a detailed evaluation of a specific organ, such as a kidney ultrasound. An abdominal ultrasound can evaluate the:
- Abdominal Reference aorta Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window, which 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.
- Reference Liver Opens New Window, which is a large dome-shaped organ that lies under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen. The liver produces bile (a substance that helps digest fat), stores sugars, and breaks down many of the body's waste products.
- Reference Gallbladder Opens New Window, which is a small sac-shaped organ beneath the liver that stores bile. When food is eaten, the gallbladder contracts, sending bile into the intestines to help in digesting food and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
- Reference Spleen Opens New Window, which is the soft, round organ that helps fight infection and filters old red blood cells. The spleen is located to the left of the stomach, just behind the lower left ribs.
- Reference Pancreas Opens New Window, which is the gland located in the upper abdomen that produces Reference enzymes Opens New Window that help digest food. The digestive enzymes are then released into the intestines. The pancreas also releases Reference insulin Opens New Window into the bloodstream. Insulin helps the body use sugars for energy.
- Reference Kidneys Opens New Window, which are the pair of bean-shaped organs located behind the upper abdominal cavity. The kidneys remove wastes from the blood and produce urine.
A pelvic ultrasound evaluates the structures and organs in the lower abdominal area (pelvis).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 5, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology