What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A typical ultrasound exam is painless and takes about 20 minutes to complete. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for the procedure.

Your abdominal ultrasound is usually performed by a specially trained technician (sonographer). During the exam, you lie on your back on an examination table and a small amount of warm gel is applied to your abdomen. The gel helps eliminate the formation of air pockets between your skin and the instrument, called a transducer, the technician uses to see your aorta. The sonographer presses the transducer against your skin over your abdomen, moving from one area to another.

The transducer sends images to a computer screen that the technician monitors. The technician monitors blood flow through your abdominal aorta to check for an aneurysm.

After the procedure

After your abdominal ultrasound, your doctor will discuss the results with you at a later time. Usually, if no aneurysm is found, your doctor won't recommend any additional screenings. If an aneurysm is found, your doctor will discuss the need for any further tests and your treatment options with you.

Oct. 10, 2012