Ultrasound uses soundwaves to create images of internal structures. The test is done by moving the transducer over the area of interest. This test involves no radiation and is painless. Gel is placed on the skin to “couple” the ultrasound transducer to the body, to create clear images. Water serves as a “window” to concentrate the sound waves, explaining why a full bladder is necessary for female pelvic ultrasound.

The Radiology Group of Abington provides the full range of ultrasound exams, from head to toe, including biopsy procedures, arterial and venous evaluation, pregnancy and diagnostic body scans. Ultrasound was initially developed during wartime to detect deep sea vessels and the ocean floor, but has been progressively refined to produce excellent diagnostic images of the body, and continues to improve with each new generation of machine.

Abington ultrasound facilities are accredited by the American College of Radiology.

Type of procedure and preparation before exam

Pelvic or OB

Female patients should drink four 8 oz. glasses of water one hour prior to the examination and should not urinate. The bladder must be full for the exam.

Abdomen and kidneys

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam.

Gallbladder or Pancreas

The day before the exam, eat a “fat-free” dinner (lean meat, fresh vegetables, toast or bread with jelly and coffee or teas. No eggs, butter, fried or fatty foods). On the day of the exam, do not eat or drink anything until after the exam. Diabetic patients and others with special health considerations should call for instructions.


This requires no special preparation.


These exams require no preparation and are generally done either to work out a mammographic abnormality or to evaluate a physical exam finding. These are often performed in conjunction with mammography though young women before age 30-35 generally will be done without mammograms.


No preparation required.


No preparation required.

Length of procedure

30-60 minutes

Post-exam instructions

You can resume normal activities right away as long as your physician has not instructed you differently.

Invasive Procedures

Thyroid and neck biopsy

Radiologists at Abington perform many biopsies each year and have a great deal of experience with thyroid disease.

These procedures are performed for either palpable masses, nodes, or thyroid nodules. Usually, the patient will have a diagnostic ultrasound before scheduling the biopsy. The biopsy is done by a radiologist in an ultrasound exam room, with a cytopathology technologist to assess the adequacy of biopsy. The procedure is done with ultrasound guidance, watching the needle the entire time to ensure accurate biopsy. Patients tolerate these procedures very well.

Abington radiologists also can perform other biopsies of neck masses with ultrasound, including lymph nodes, parotid gland masses, and other neck lesions.

Patient prep

None. If you have outside ultrasound studies, please bring it with you on date of study.


Hysterosonography is a procedure in which sterile saline is injected into the endometrial cavity of the uterus, most commonly to assess for causes of vaginal bleeding.

Patient prep

Schedule in first half of cycle, 5-14 days after first date of menstruation. No drinking before the procedure.