Have you been dealing with symptoms that your doctors suspect may be due to your gallbladder? In addition to running some blood tests, your doctor will likely send you in for an ultrasound scan. Here are some questions you may have before an ultrasound scan of your gallbladder.
Where will the ultrasound take place?
Usually, your ultrasound will take place at an imaging center that is separate from your doctor's office. Your doctor's staff may make the appointment for you, or they may give you the contact information for the imaging center and have you schedule the appointment yourself. The imaging center's staff will then deliver the results of the scan to your doctor, who will interpret those results and send them to you.
How do you prepare for the ultrasound?
Your doctor may ask you to adhere to a specific diet in the days leading up to the ultrasound. Specifically, you may be told not to eat fatty foods for a day or two beforehand. This dietary restriction is meant to reduce irritation to your gall bladder, allowing the ultrasound machine to produce more helpful images. You should also make sure you wear comfortable clothing to the appointment. Some ultrasound technicians may ask you to change into a hospital gown for the scan, but others may just have you lift your shirt if it's loose.
What will the ultrasound feel like?
As you are lying on the treatment bed, the ultrasound technician will first apply a gel to your upper abdomen. This will feel cold, but it won't hurt. They'll then use a special wand, which delivers ultrasound waves to your skin. They'll pass the wand over your abdomen, moving it in various ways as images are generated on the screen. All you should feel is the pressure of the ultrasound wand; there won't be any pain or discomfort.
What will the ultrasound reveal?
The images generated with the ultrasound will allow your doctor to determine what, if anything, is wrong with your gallbladder. They may see a gallstone, a growth in the organ, or even a thickening of gall bladder walls. Based on what they see, they can then recommend the best treatment approach for you, whether that's surgery, a dietary change, or certain medications.
Gallbladder problems are common, but they're actually quite easy to diagnose with ultrasound therapy and other simple tests. Reach out to a clinic like Hudson Valley Imaging for more information.