Although an abdominal ultrasound can be done to check for a number of conditions, it can be used to screen for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weakened, bulging spot in your abdominal aorta, the artery that runs through the middle of your abdomen and supplies blood to the lower half of your body.

An abdominal ultrasound can also be used to check for other diseases that affect your kidneys, liver, gallbladder and pancreas.

An abdominal ultrasound to screen for an abdominal aortic aneurysm is recommended for men ages 65 to 75 who are current or former cigarette smokers. Having an abdominal ultrasound to screen for an aortic aneurysm isn’t specifically recommended for men who have never smoked, nor women, unless your doctor suspects you may have an aneurysm.

  • How the test is done?

    First the technician will prepare your skin to be clean, dry, and free of any lotions or oils so the sensory pads can be placed on your head.

    After positioning the sensory pads, the technician starts the test. He or she may ask that you cover one eye at a time to record each eye’s response independently. Once the test begins, you will see a series of black and white patterns that appear to “flip” quickly over and over again on a computer screen. It is simply a matter of looking at the pattern for the duration of the test. The computer will capture the information and produce a report for the doctor’s interpretation of the results.

  • Preparing for your test

    It is best for your hair and face to be clean, dry, and free of any gels, sprays or oils.