Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound

An abdominal aortic ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of your aorta, the largest artery in your body.  Most aortic aneurysms produce no symptoms.  Symptoms that can be present (often once the aneurysm is quite large) are chest, back, or abdominal pain or a pulsating feeling in the upper abdomen.

  1. Pre-procedure Instructions
    Do not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to your exam. Take any morning medications with small sips of water. If you are diabetic, do not take your insulin or pills on the morning of the exam.  Wear a two-piece outfit (no dresses).
  2. During the Ultrasound
    You will lie on your back with your abdomen exposed. Gel will be applied to your abdomen, and an ultrasound transducer (a small, hand-held wand) will be rubbed across your abdomen in order to obtain images of your blood vessels.  You should not feel any major discomfort during an abdominal aortic ultrasound.  Some slight discomfort is occasionally felt from the pressure of the transducer on your abdomen.  An abdominal aortic ultrasound generally takes from 20-30 minutes to complete.
  3. Post Procedure
    After your test is complete, you may wipe the gel off and return to normal activities immediately. Before you leave, you will be scheduled to receive your results from your physician.