Ultrasound for cancer | Ultrasound of the abdomen (Sono Abdomen)

Ultrasound for cancer

In many cancers, ultrasound examination of the abdomen is an important part of the diagnosis and aftercare. Many types of cancer often spread to the liver, so that the Sono Abdomen can determine or rule out whether or not metastases are present. On the one hand, this is relevant for the initial diagnosis, since metastasis can affect the treatment options and prognosis of the disease.

On the other hand, it is possible to check whether new cancerous tumors are growing again after a therapy in order to initiate a new therapy in time if necessary. In some cancers, such as pancreatic cancer or colon cancer, the original tumor can be detected in the abdomen through the Sono Abdomen. However, other examinations such as computer tomography are much better suited for this purpose, so that those used for suspicious abnormalities in the Sono Abdomen are usually used for more precise clarification.


No special preparation is required for the Sono Abdomen. Although the patient does not need to be fasting, it is recommended that no large meals or carbonated beverages be taken before the examination. Otherwise, gas accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract will negatively affect the examination conditions. If necessary, the patient should go to the toilet again before the examination, unless otherwise stated by the examiner. It is also advantageous to choose clothing that allows easy clearing of the entire abdomen up to the groin.


For the ultrasound examination of the abdomen, the patient usually sits on the examination couch in a supine position. The patient should lie as relaxed as possible during the examination. If necessary, bending the legs can help to relax the abdominal wall.

The examiner will ask the patient to clear the abdomen.Usually it is sufficient to pull the clothing up or down accordingly. Then an ultrasound gel is applied to the abdomen. This feels cool and moist.

Then the actual examination begins, when the doctor places the ultrasound probe on the skin. Now either a specific region of the abdomen or an organ is targeted and displayed or a systematic examination of all organs in the abdomen that can be displayed by the Sono Abdomen is performed. These include, for example, the liver, spleen, kidneys and bladder.

If necessary, the physician will ask the patient to change position or perform certain breathing maneuvers. With the help of special settings of the ultrasound device, the examiner can also perform special measurements such as determining the size of an organ. The transducer is usually guided with gentle pressure, which is usually not perceived as painful or unpleasant. Should pain nevertheless occur, it is recommended to inform the doctor directly.