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You may be required to have an abdominal scan as part of your yearly check-up with your doctor or gynecologist. What exactly does an abdominal scan entail? First, you will receive an injection of a contrast agent into your arm or hand that will help your doctor see certain areas of your abdomen more clearly using imaging technology like ultrasound or CT scans. After you’ve received the injection, you will lie on the exam table with the lower half of your body draped in a clean sheet and placed on top of a warm blanket to keep you comfortable and relaxed while the images are captured.

An abdominal Scan Involves Injecting Contrast

A fluid that helps us see certain organs better. The contrast also relaxes muscles and makes it easier to get a good picture of your abdominal area. It’s usually given through a vein in your arm, but sometimes it can be given as an enema or rectally. Depending on what you’re being scanned for, your doctor may recommend different methods.

An Abdominal Ultrasound Uses Sound Waves

High-frequency sound waves are sent into your body through a device called a transducer. The transducer relays signals to a computer, which creates images based on how those sound waves bounce off different structures in your body. An abdominal ultrasound uses sound waves that travel through your abdomen. This type of scan helps doctors get pictures of organs and structures inside your abdomen.

A CT Abdomen is Different From a CT Chest

It uses ionizing radiation to produce images of soft tissues and body organs. A CT scan with contrast involves injecting a special dye into your arm, usually through a vein (IV) in your hand or arm. The dye helps distinguish between normal and abnormal areas of tissue on each image. In many cases, more than one injection may be needed for complete imaging. The entire exam takes about 30 minutes to an hour and does not require anesthesia or sedation; however, you will be asked to lie very still during its administration.

There Are Different Types of Abdominal Scans

Abdominal scan with contrast, abdominal scan without contrast, and abdominal ultrasound. The kind of scan you’ll receive depends on your age, health history, the reason for visit, and whether you are pregnant. Learn more about each of these tests below.

Preparation Before Having an Abdominal Scan

The day before your scan, make sure to drink plenty of fluids and urinate frequently. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, as you will need to be mobile during your test. Most people can continue their regular activities during the scan, although you may be asked not to eat or drink anything (even water) for several hours before having your scan.

Common Reasons to Have an Abdominal Scan

For pregnant women, abdominal scans can be a great way to monitor a developing fetus. For adults, abdominal scans are primarily used to diagnose medical conditions such as Gallstones and pancreatitis Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Abscesses Intestinal bleeding Kidney problems Liver problems Foreign objects or obstructions within your digestive tract A surgical scar The risk of bladder cancer may also be increased in women who have undergone abdominal scans with contrast. It’s important to note that certain medications can increase your chances of experiencing side effects during and after an abdominal scan. These include blood thinners, water pills (diuretics), calcium channel blockers, estrogen replacement therapy, and beta-blockers.

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