Note: The following preps are for outpatient care only.

For questions about any of these preps, please contact the Radiology Reception Desk, at (734) 936-4500 for more information.

What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound (US) is a medical diagnostic procedure that uses sound waves. US works by using a transducer that produces and receives silent, high frequency sound waves. The transducer is usually a hand held instrument which is placed against the body and slowly passed over the area to be examined. Sound waves pass through the skin into the body. As the waves strike against various organs, they send echoes back to the transducer. Different kinds of tissue, blood, bone and fluid produce different echoes. These are separated and identified by the transducer. The echoes are changed into electrical energy by the transducer. The energy shows up as images on a display screen. Films of the images are then taken for further study and interpretation.


Pelvis and Obstetrical Exams
You must have a full urinary bladder at the time of the exam. Drink twenty-four to thirty-two ounces of any liquid. Finish drinking the liquid at least a half-hour prior to the scheduled appointment time. DO NOT use the restroom after drinking the liquid. Your bladder needs to be full in order to perform the exam.

Abdominal Aorta, Gallbladder, Pancreas, Liver and Spleen
Have nothing to eat or drink for at least six hours prior to the exam. Any medication that is needed should be taken as prescribed with a small amount of water, unless otherwise instructed by the Radiology Department.

Renal, Thyroid, Bone, Joint, and Vascular Studies
There is no preparation necessary to perform these exams.

Prostate Biopsy - Refrain from taking aspirin or any blood thinning agent for three days prior to the exam. A cleansing enema may be done at home prior to the exam or may be done when you arrive for you appointment.

  • Diagnostic Prostate - A cleansing enema should be done at home prior to the exam. Please purchase a Fleet enema kit at your local pharmacy and follow the directions.

US Guided Biopsy
A questionnaire needs to be filled out through the US scheduling office. In addition, labs need to be drawn prior to the biopsy. The labs consist of : Prothrombin Time (PT), Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT), Platelet Count (PLT).

The Examination

The procedure is simple and painless. You will be asked to lie down on a bed. A gel is applied to your skin, over the area to be viewed. The gel helps the sound waves pass into your body more easily. A transducer is then passed over the area of interest several times.

US Guided Biopsy
You will need to have someone accompany you for the procedure. All biopsies are scheduled for a two hour period, but the procedure may not take the full two hours. After the biopsy, you will be sent to a recovery area in the Radiology Department for approximately four to six hours.

After the Procedure

The radiologist will send a report to your doctor after the images have been studied. It is best to ask your doctor for the exam results.

Scheduling If you have any questions regarding Ultrasound scheduling, please call (734) 936-4500.


Reviewed and Approved:
Diane Brimm
Jon Rubin, MD