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  • Sumeet Kaur Wasu

How Do I Prepare for An Ultrasound?

There's a protocol for every procedure in the medical field. An ultrasound scan can be used to determine the presence of an unborn baby, diagnose a condition, or guide a surgeon during certain procedures.

Preparation of Ultrasound Scan

  • Drinking water: It is advisable to drink water an hour before the examination, to fully fill the bladder for better results of the ultrasound. The advised quantity of water intake for an accurate ultrasound scan lies between 950 ml to 1 liter and there shouldn't be any urination before the scan is thoroughly completed.

  • Food: Eating anything solid should be avoided at least for a few hours before undergoing the ultrasound scan, as it may interfere with the resultant images of the scan.

Image By Getty Images

The fasting period is generally 8 to 10 hours before an ultrasound scan so that there are no bowels or gas present inside the body, which may cause a hindrance to the scan.

What are the different protocols for an ultrasound?

Image By Getty Images

Abdominal Ultrasound Preparation:

  • Eat a low-fat meal on the evening/night before the examination- (no fried, fatty, or greasy foods and no dairy products)

  • Nothing to eat or drink for 12 hours before the appointment taken for the scan

  • If there are medications that must be taken then drink only a small amount of water when taking the medicines.

Kidney/Retro-peritoneal Preparation:

Pelvic Ultrasound Preparation

Pregnancy Ultrasound Preparation

What to do after an Ultrasound Scan?

There are no known side effects or harmful effects of the sound waves used in an ultrasound.

The person can go home as soon as the scan is completed.

Both external and internal ultrasound scans do not generally cause any pain for more read our blog: Can you have pain during the ultrasound procedure?



  1. Ultrasound scan, NHS [Link]

  2. How to Prepare for Your Ultrasound, Atrius Health [Link]

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