An ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of the inside of your body.
In most cases, you won’t need to do anything to prepare for your ultrasound exam. However, depending on the type of testing that needs to be done, you might be required to stop eating, drinking and/or taking your medication for a certain period of time before your exam. Alternatively, some ultrasound exams require patients to drink several glasses of clear fluids before the exam. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about how you should prepare for your ultrasound exam.
Regardless of the type of ultrasound you’re having, remember to wear comfortable clothes.
You’ll need to arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment so that you can check in and complete paperwork.
During your ultrasound, a small transducer — or probe — and ultrasound gel will be placed directly on your skin to capture images.
The ultrasound exam itself is usually completed in 45 minutes to an hour. However, plan on your visit — from check in to check out — lasting at least 90 minutes or longer.
You can usually return to your normal activities and diet immediately after your ultrasound examination. Ask your healthcare provider if there are any limitations you should follow.