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What is an abdominal ultrasound?

An abdominal ultrasound is a procedure used to examine the organs in the abdomen. An ultrasound transducer (probe) is pressed firmly against the skin of the abdomen. High-energy sound waves from the transducer bounce off tissues and create echoes. The echoes are sent to a computer, which makes a picture called a sonogram. Also called transabdominal ultrasound.

This answer is based on source information from The National Cancer Institute.

Abdominal ultrasound is a non-invasive technique using directed sound waves to examine the body's internal organs, including the pancreas, gallbladder, liver, kidneys, spleen, stomach, and intestines. The sound waves used are of very high frequency and cannot be heard by the human ear. When the soundwaves bounce off of the internal organs they echo, creating an image called a sonogram. Since healthy tissue and tumors create different echoes, the size of the internal organs as well as the presence of a tumor can be detected using ultrasonography.

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