What is a Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound?

Ultrasound Abdomen - Renal - Pelvis

A Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound is a procedure that uses ultrasound imaging primarily to evaluate the internal organs and blood vessels within
your child’s abdomen including the:

  • appendix
  • bladder
  • stomach
  • liver
  • kidneys
  • gallbladder
  • spleen
  • pancreas
  • intestines
  • testicles
  • ovaries

It can be used as a diagnostic tool to:

  • help determine the source of abdominal pain such as inflamed appendix
  • guide procedures such as biopsies
  • help detect the presence and cause of an apparent enlarged abdominal organ
  • identify the location of abnormal fluid in the abdomen
  • help determine causes of vomiting in young infants

Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound

What happens during a Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound?

A. Before your scan

What to bring

  • Your request form
  • Any relevant previous imaging
  • Your Medicare card and any concession cards

Preparation – the day of your procedure

Some fasting is required before a Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound:

  • 0-2 years – withhold previous feed before appointment, approximately 2 hours.
  • 2-6 years old – nothing to eat or drink 3 hours before appointment.
  • Over 6 years old – nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before appointment.

Exception: diabetics or special nutritional requirements – please discuss with our Envision Medical Imaging team. If necessary, your child is allowed water or clear juice but not milk. Please bring a bottle for infants to feed during examination if needed.

You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding your child’s health status, medication, and any known allergies. Your child will need to have their nappy and clothing removed and if appropriate changed into an examination gown to allow the ultrasound study to be carried out.

B. During your Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound


Your child will be placed on their side or back on an examination bed. Gel will be applied to the area being imaged to help create a good contact between you and the ultrasound probe. The probe will be placed directly onto the gel and your skin for the duration of the examination.

Your ultrasound will be performed by a Radiologist (medical specialist) or a sonographer (a specially trained technologist). Because the examiner is interpreting moving images on a screen a high degree of concentration is required.

Ultrasound examinations are not painful and generally not invasive but may be uncomfortable particularly if over a tender part of the body.

Most ultrasound examinations will be completed within 30 minutes. It is not unusual for the radiologist to come in and speak with you and view the images on the screen. At the end of the procedure the gel is simply wiped from your child’s skin so that it does not mark their clothes.

Risks and side effects

Ultrasounds are a very low risk procedure and complications are rare however you should be informed of the possible risks and side effects.

Risks associated with this procedure include:

  • If scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, pressure or minor pain from the transducer may be felt.

Any medical procedure can potentially be associated with unpredictable risks.

Who will perform the Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound?

The ultrasound examination will be carried out by a sonographer (a technologist trained in ultrasound imaging)

Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound

What happens after a Paediatric Abdominal Ultrasound?

How do I get my results?

After your appointment, the information from the scan is interpreted by Envision’s Radiologist before delivery of a report to your child’s doctor or Paediatrician.


Your child should be able to go about their normal activities after the appointment.