The ultrasound examination of the abdomen, often referred to as Sono Abdomen, is a standard diagnostic procedure that can be helpful in a variety of situations. On the one hand, it is used to find the causes of various complaints and on the other hand, it can be indicated as a control examination in the aftercare of diseases. There are no risks associated with this method and the necessary equipment is available relatively frequently.
However, only certain characteristics and possible diseases of the abdominal organs can be detected or excluded. Often more extensive procedures are necessary for a diagnosis. In addition, certain factors of the patient complicate the examination conditions, such as obesity and air accumulation in the abdomen.
By means of an ultrasound examination of the abdomen, some organs can be visualized very well and possible pathological changes can be detected. However, some organs can only be assessed to a limited extent and others can hardly be examined at all with the Sono Abdomen. Therefore, there are various indications for which ultrasound of the abdomen is useful.
These include, for example, certain diseases of the liver and bile ducts and the gallbladder. Gallstones as well as an enlargement of the duct system can be visualized. Inflammations can be easily recognized in the ultrasound image.
Diseases of the liver and biliary system often manifest themselves as right-sided pain in the upper abdomen, so that the indication for a Sono Abdomen is justified for these symptoms. Furthermore, the kidney and the urinary tract can be scanned if the doctor suspects a kidney stone as a trigger, for example, due to cramping pain. In some cases, the cause of the symptoms can already be identified by an ultrasound of the abdomen.
Further indications arise if the physician suspects an inflamed appendix or an ovarian cyst as the cause on the basis of symptoms expressed and the physical examination. However, in many cases, the Sono Abdomen does not allow a reliable statement to be made as to whether or not a pathological change is present. The results of the examination must always be assessed in conjunction with the other findings. Due to the sometimes limited ability to assess the organs, a Sono Abdomen is only indicated for a specific question about which the examination can provide information. Non-specific complaints, on the other hand, are usually not an indication.