Pediatric Ultrasound

Ultrasound imaging is a safe, noninvasive, painless test that uses sound waves to produce a clear picture of the internal organs and blood vessels within your child. Ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure.  It is particularly valuable for evaluating abdominal, pelvic or scrotal pain in children.

Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

A Doppler ultrasound study may be part of a child's abdominal ultrasound examination.  Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that allows the physician to see and evaluate blood flow through arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs, neck and/or brain (in infants and children) or within various body organs such as the liver or kidneys.

Exam Preparation

Your child should be dressed in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for an ultrasound exam. Other preparation depends on the type of examination. For some scans, your doctor may ask you to withhold food and drink for several hours before your child's appointment. For others, you may be asked to have your child drink several glasses of water, depending on the child's size, two hours prior to the exam and avoid urinating so that his or her bladder is reasonably full when the scan begins. Sedation is rarely needed for ultrasound examinations.

The Exam

Ultrasound is used to detect changes in appearance, size or contour of organs, tissues, and vessels or detect abnormal masses, such as tumors.

For most ultrasound exams, you will be positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. A clear water-based gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin that can block the sound waves from passing into your body. The sonographer (ultrasound technologist) then places the transducer on the skin in various locations, sweeping over the area of interest or angling the sound beam from a different location to better see an area of concern.

When the examination is complete, you may be asked to wait while the ultrasound images are reviewed.  An ultrasound examination is usually completed within 30 minutes.

After the Exam

Once the imaging is complete, the gel will be wiped off the skin and your child should be able to resume their normal activities.

A radiologist will analyze the images and send a report to your primary care physician, or referring physician, who will share the results with you. 

Diagnostic Imaging Scheduling Center

To schedule an appointment, call our Diagnostic Imaging Scheduling Center at:
508-422-BOOK (508-422-2665)
Mon. thru Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Find Care


Patients should call to pre-register up to two weeks in advance for any scheduled surgery and out-patient appointment including most diagnostic tests, lab work and pre-operative testing. This eliminates the need to wait for an admissions representative upon arrival. Patients can go directly to their point of service. Admissions representatives are available to take calls from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Please call 508-422-2222.

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