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An abdominal ultrasound is a painless way to view the structures inside your abdomen using sound waves and a type of sonar detection system that generates black and white pictures. An ultrasound of the abdomen is useful for finding gallstones and/or fluid around the abdominal organs and other anomalies.

To prepare for the test, you’ll be asked not to eat on the day of the ultrasound, as eating food introduces excess air into your system and prevents a clear view of your abdomen. Tell your physician about any medications you are currently taking, and let them know if you could be pregnant.

You will lie on your back during the test. A sonographer will first apply a clear jelly on your lower abdomen to help the ultrasound sensor, a microphone-like tool, slide more easily across your skin.

When the sensor is in place, a picture will appear on a video screen, and the sonographer will move the sensor back and forth over your abdomen to see the internal organs from different views. If you feel any soreness or pain where the sensor is pushing against your body, you should tell the sonographer. In some cases, this discomfort might indicate a possible problem.

Test results will be ready in two or three days. If any risk factors or underlying conditions are detected, your surgeon will address these issues before performing your bariatric procedure.

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