Cincinnati Children's Blog

How to Prepare for an Ultrasound Exam

How to Prepare for an Ultrasound Exam

Right now, ultrasound exams preparations instructions from the Call Center, are given verbally at the time they schedule the appointment.  Patients and families can also view the preparation instructions on MyChart and they are mailed a printed itinerary if they schedule at least 2 weeks in advance.

Our preparation instructions vary from exam to exam and even by age for the same exam.  Some exams require fasting anywhere from 3 to 8 hours.  Some exams require drinking water in order to arrive with a full bladder. That information is given when they schedule their exam. We do recommend that parents have their child wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.  We ask them to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment.  Right now, our patient instructions do not give an estimated time that the exam will take, but we are working on fixing that. We do give the parents an expected length of time once they are in the ultrasound room, before we begin the exam.  Our exams can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours (or more for very complex exams).

Hopefully, the information above can give our patients and families an idea on what to expect and prepare for their ultrasound exam. With this extra knowledge families can better plan out their exam day schedule accordingly.

Ann Gramling, US Tech, author; Glenn Miñano, BFA, editor; Meredith Towbin, copy editor

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