To best visualize images, ultrasound examinations are performed in a dimly lit room. Images and information are collected by a registered sonographer (technologist) and interpreted by a board certified radiologist. No ionizing radiation is employed. Therefore, the technology is safe and is frequently used in pregnancy and pediatrics.
 
Before the Procedure
 
      General Diagnostic Ultrasound
  • Eat a fat-free dinner the night before your exam, but do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • A small amount of clear liquid may be taken with oral medication if needed before your appointment. Morning appointments are recommended.
  • No preparation is required for hernia ultrasound.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to register for your test.
  • Plan for about 30 minutes to complete your exam.
      Renal (Kidney) Ultrasound
  • Finish drinking 2 glasses (16 ounces total) of water one hour prior to your appointment time.
  • Do not empty your bladder prior to the exam.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to register for your test.
  • Plan for about 20 minutes to complete your exam. Renal vascular ultrasound examinations may take up to 1 hour.
      Obstetrical Ultrasound
  • Plan for 30 minutes to 1 hour while the sonographer gathers important information about you and your baby.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to register for your test.
  • You may eat as you normally would before and after your examination and return to your usual or recommended activities after your exam.
For exam in the first trimester (first 12 weeks):
  • A full bladder is essential for adequate visualization of the fetus at this early stage.
  • Please finish drinking 4 (32 ounces total) glasses of water one hour prior to your appointment time. If your bladder is not filled, your exam may be delayed or rescheduled.
  • Do not empty your bladder prior to exam.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound examination may be necessary to adequately image the fetus. The need for transvaginal imaging will be determined by the radiologist during your OB ultrasound examination.

For exam in the second trimester (13 to 20 weeks):

  • No preparation is usually required, but a partially filled bladder is preferred.
  • You may be asked to drink some water for better visualization of your cervix and/or placenta during your appointment.
  • Do not empty your bladder prior to exam.
For exam in the third trimester (21 weeks to term):
  • No preparation is usually required.
  • You may be asked to drink some water for better visualization of your cervix and/or placenta during your appointment.
  • Do not empty your bladder prior to exam.