What is an Aorta Ultrasound and what does it do?
An ultrasound of the abdominal aorta is a non-invasive, painless test that uses high-frequency sound waves to image the “aorta,” the main blood vessel leading away from the heart.
Below are some common indications for abdominal aorta ultrasounds.
- Screening for aneurysm for patients with medical conditions such diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure which increase the risk of developing an abdominal aorta aneurysm
- Evaluate for an aneurysm if a pulsatile mass is felt on a physical exam
- Known abdominal aortic aneurysm and the scan is being done to check for any change in size of the aneurysm
- Evaluate the aorta because of a bruit (rushing, whistling noise) of the abdominal aorta heard during a physical exam
Who performs the test?
An ultrasonographer specifically trained or certified in Ultrasound imaging.
Where does it take place?
Jackson Hospital Outpatient Center Hudnall Building, Room 110, located adjacent to the Hospital.
How long does it take?
This exam generally takes about 30 minutes to complete.
What can I do to make it a success?
- Bring your doctor’s orders with you when you come for your scheduled exam.
- Wear comfortable, easy to remove clothing.
- Follow all preparation instructions given to you by your physician’s office. If you have any questions, please call us for clarification. We want your exam to be as successful as possible.
What should I do before the exam?
You must be NPO (nothing to eat or drink) for at least 8 hours prior to an abdominal ultrasound. You may take your medications with only a few sips of water.
What happens during the exam?
First, the technologist will explain the exam and may ask you historical questions that aid in obtaining a more diagnostic exam. You will lie on your back (or on your side) on a padded exam table. Warmed gel will be spread on your abdomen to improve the quality of the sound waves. A small handheld unit called a transducer is pressed against your abdomen and moved back and forth over it. A picture of the organs and blood vessels can be seen on a video monitor.
You may be asked to change positions so more scans can be done.
You need to lie very still while the ultrasound scan is being done. You may be asked to take a breath and hold it for several seconds during the scanning. This lets the sonographer see organs and structures more clearly because they are not moving.
What should I do after the exam?
The radiologist will review your image(s) and a final report will go to your ordering physician in 24-48 hours.
Ultrasound Department (at main hospital): (850) 718-2582
Ultrasound Department (at OP Center): (850) 526-6702
Radiology Department: (850) 718-2580
Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200