Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Abdominal Ultrasound

Yesterday I had a full abdominal sonogram. It wasn't a bad experience. I'm a bit sore at my rib cage today though. Because of my autoimmune hepatitis and cirrhosis, I must have these every 6 months to screen for liver cancer. This is how it works.

Ultrasound uses sound waves, not x-rays, to generate images. A jelly-like substance is applied to the skin overlying your liver. Then a probe, called a transducer, is passed over the skin. The transducer sends out sound waves that pass through the body and are echoed back. The transducer receives the echoes and transmits them to a computer console which in turn interprets the echo data as internal organs and tissues.

Well, first of all, I had to wait over an hour for my name to be called. But I waited patiently because I know that people are busy and everyone has things to do and people to see. So I finally get back to the little room and the guy tells me to disrobe from the waist up and put on the gown. That's fine, although it was a tad chilly. I comply as I am a good patient. Then I have to roll over on my left side and he squirts the jelly on my side. I must say that it was very warm. I wasn't expecting it to be quite that warm. I would even go so far as to say that it was a tad too warm! But better than too cold. OH...shivers! Just thinking of it! Anyway, then I had to breath in and hold my breath....breath out. Repeat several times. Piece of cake. Turn over on my right side and do the same thing. Then the weirdest thing happened. The guy stopped telling me when to breath in and out and hold my breath. Well, I can't hold my breath forever, so I started breathing again. Then I took a breath and held it on my own. I did that several times thinking I was doing the right thing. All the while he was saying nothing – just moving the probe all over my side (which hurt by the way!).

Then all of a sudden he stops and in a slightly irritated voice says that I need to hold my breath and stop breathing. Well I was just flustered! What the hell had I BEEN doing sir? Without your guidance I might add! So what do I do? I apologize! “I'm sorry, I'm not very good at holding my breath.” So then he starts coaching me again. And all is well. What happened there? I don't know. I just know that he said the pictures turned out clear and I did fine. I'm glad that's over. My hepatologist will have my results for me shortly,, and my ribs will feel better soon. All in all, it wasn't a bad experience. So pray for me that my results will be negative to the liver cancer. I sure don't want any of that. I have enough on my plate already!!!!!!!

Here's a sample of what liver cancer can look like from an ultrasound.
This is not my ultrasound or liver:


  1. If you are considering 4D Sonography, then you should really consider doing some research on it. There are many different places that you can have this procedure done. Some physicians actually do this right in the comforts of their office. Although, this is an elective procedure and most insurance will not cover it.

  2. I had the same procedure done just yesterday , he barely said a word to me , not even a you will be fine , he just said I have what I need , as I left I saw the nurse who had been in awe of my amazing weight loss and I approached her to ask when would I know the result , she said 'hmm, well soon I would hope , we will be in touch , either that or your surgeon may ask to speak to you - how frustrating is that . Do update me as to how you get on x

  3. Well, there is usually less or no discomfort while performing this. Maybe you only got confused because that was the first time you’ve undergone an ultrasound. I know it’s late I wished all the best for you. So, do you have any updates?

    Julio Loose

    1. After this procedure, I have had several more done. They have all turned out with the same results. "Stable." So no signs of liver cancer, thank the Lord. I appreciate all of your well wishes and concern. :)