Test Preparation:

Do not consume any food or drink at least 12 hours prior to the test. This allows for a good picture of your gallbladder.

During the Procedure:

Generally, a gallbladder ultrasound follows this process:

  1. You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may interfere with the scan.
  2. If asked to remove clothing, you will be given a gown to wear.
  3. You will lie on an examination table. You will lie either on your back or on your stomach, depending on the specific area of the abdomen to be examined.
  4. A clear gel will be placed on the skin over the area to be examined.
  5. The transducer will be pressed against the skin and moved around over the area being studied.
  6. If blood flow is being assessed, you may hear a “whoosh, whoosh” sound when the Doppler probe is used.
  7. Once the procedure has been completed, the gel will be wiped off.

What is a Gallbladder ultrasound?

A gallbladder ultrasound examination is a limited version of an abdominal ultrasound examination. It provides pictures of the upper abdominal organs such as the gallbladder, pancreas and the common bile duct. The exam will be performed by a sonographer, a technologist who is specially trained in ultrasound. A hypo-allergenic gel will be applied to your upper abdomen and a small hand held device called a transducer will be passed over the surface of your upper abdomen producing a sensation of light pressure on your skin. In order to obtain the best possible image, the sonographer may ask you to take in a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. The sonographer may also need to have you change your position on the table, possibly rolling onto your side or even onto your stomach. These different techniques are used to enable the sonographer to obtain the highest quality images for the radiologist to view to interpret your results.