Abdominal Ultrasound with Doppler

Your doctor has requested an abdominal ultrasound exam with Doppler. Ultrasound is a safe and painless procedure that uses sound waves to "see" inside your body. Doppler allows our specialists to evaluate the blood flow through the arteries and veins of your abdomen.  The scan can help diagnose obstructions in the blood flow to your abdominal organs, as well as helping to detect conditions such as abdominal masses, gallbladder disease, and gallstones, as well as problems in the liver, kidneys, pancreas or spleen. At the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center we have an expert team of subspecialized physicians, nurses and technologists who are highly trained in ultrasound imaging.

Before Your Exam

  • You must not eat or drink for eight hours before your exam. Water and taking medications is okay.
  • If ultrasound pelvis is also being done, for female patients, please drink 32 oz of water one hour before the scan. You can go to the bathroom to relieve yourself, as long as you keep drinking water. Male patients do not need to have a full bladder.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • Please consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass any time you may have to wait.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.

During Your Exam

  • You will be asked to change into a gown.
  • A diagnostic medical sonographer will explain your exam and answer any questions you may have.
  • Your procedure will be performed with you lying flat on your back on the examination table.
  • The technologist will apply warm gel to the skin of your abdomen. This gel helps the sound waves to get from the machine into your body. It is similar to hair styling gel.
  • A transducer, a small device similar to a microphone, will be placed over various locations on your abdomen.
  • Sound waves will bounce off certain organs and tissue in your body. This creates "echoes." The echoes are reflected back to the transducer, which converts them to electronic signals. A computer then processes the signals into pictures and shows them on a television monitor.
  • These moving images may be viewed immediately or photographed for further study.
  • You will hear unusual sounds as the technologist views and records the blood flow in the arteries and veins supplying the organs in your abdomen.
  • Your exam will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

After Your Exam

  • You may resume your regular diet, unless told otherwise by your doctor.
  • Your study will be reviewed by an imaging physician and the results sent to your doctor. Your doctor will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
  • If you have problems related to your procedure, please call 310-423-8000.
For more information or to schedule an appointment