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Upper abdominal ultrasound: what is it for?

Upper abdominal ultrasound is a simple and minimally invasive examination that can be performed in an outpatient setting. It does not require anesthesia, and individuals can easily resume their daily activities once the examination is completed. Upper abdominal ultrasound is very useful for examining the upper part of the abdomen, including the  liver, gallbladder, kidneys, spleen, and bile ducts. Despite its speed and simplicity, l’upper abdominal ultrasound is a very accurate and precise investigation. Let’s see below how it works, what its utility is, and how to prepare for it.

How upper abdominal ultrasound works

Upper abdominal ultrasound is based on ultrasound technology, which uses low-frequency sound waves that are inaudible to the human ear and harmless to tissues. During this examination, the patient lies comfortably on their back. The physician applies gel to the area to be examined and places the probe connected to the ultrasound machine. Upper abdominal ultrasound typically lasts about 10-15 minutes. During this time, the physician moves the probe and analyzes the various organs in the upper abdomen.

What is upper abdominal ultrasound used for

Upper abdominal ultrasound is used to analyze the morphology and identify possible pathologies in abdominal organs such as the liver, bile ducts, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, and spleen. During this examination, the radiologist can take a sort of photograph of the various organs, allowing for further study. Upper abdominal ultrasound is a simple but very important and effective examination and is the primary screening modality for the abdomen.

In the imaging diagnostics di MiniHospital “Sandro Pertini” area of MiniHospital “Sandro Pertini,” upper abdominal ultrasound is performed using a Philips Affiniti 50 ultrasound machine, which enables ultrasound and color Doppler examinations, ensuring both speed of execution and maximum accuracy of results.

How to prepare for upper abdominal ultrasound

Upper abdominal ultrasound does not require specific preparation. However, one factor that can create problems and compromise the outcome of the examination is the presence of air in the abdomen. Air reflects ultrasound waves and produces a blurry image on the ultrasound machine. That’s why it’s mandatory to fast for at least 6 hours before undergoing upper abdominal ultrasound. In the days leading up to the examination, it is also advisable to avoid eating legumes, dairy products, whole grains, carbonated drinks, and it is better to limit coffee and alcoholic beverages. Once the upper abdominal ultrasound examination is completed, the patient can immediately resume their daily activities with peace of mind.


  • It is advisable to bring any previous ultrasound scans performed on the same body area.
  • It is advisable to bring any records of previous specialist visits.

 MiniHospital performs upper abdominal ultrasound

At MiniHospital “Sandro Pertini,” you can undergo upper abdominal ultrasound in a simple and fast manner. In our clinics, you will find state-of-the-art equipment capable of providing very precise results.

Booking is required for this examination. To make an appointment, you can send an email to, call our office at 0587.609134, or fill out the form below.

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