Bellies and tummies are where we keep things, including laughs, gumbo and babies. But this area holds more than that.

The anatomically correct name for that part of the body is the abdomen. The abdomen is home to important organs including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and towards the back, the kidneys.

So when radiologists are asked to look into someone’s belly/tummy/abdomen, there is quit a bit that can be reviewed! Pain in the area can arise from issues with any of the  organs, the blood vessels and ducts or even the supporting tissues. Because there is so much to see, we select our tools very carefully – starting with ultrasound.

Ultrasound is fantastic because images are made with sound waves instead of radiation. It is fast, noninvasive, and painless. The most uncomfortable one might feel is when the tender area is evaluated in the scan. In short, it’s an easy exam.

Once the gel is applied (and that gel might be a just a little chilly), a transducer (the technical name for a probe) is rubbed gently across the skin. A computer calculates black, white and grey images in real time, instantly showing on a screen. Your radiologist can then interpret those images and determine what’s healthy, or what needs to be healed.

When you have a focal symptom, such as a pain, we can look specifically at the area in question, even viewing it with you in different positions. Flank pain, especially in young patients, those who are pregnant, and those with known kidney stones are often excellent candidates for abdominal ultrasound.

Right upper quadrant pain or pain after eating fatty foods can be due to gallstones – usually best seen and evaluated by ultrasound. Right lower quadrant pain can be an indicator of appendicitis and in kids and young adults ultrasound is a great first imaging test.

No matter what the diagnosis, it’s important to take care of your belly and everything inside! With ultrasound, we have a powerful tool in helping us help you.

At Capitol Imaging Services, we often lessen out of pocket costs for people by performing exams at lower fees. For people with unfulfilled health insurance deductibles, that’s a major financial advantage.

Click here to learn more about ultrasound, which is performed at select Capitol Imaging Services locations. Capitol Imaging Services is doctor trusted and patient preferred.