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Transabdominal Ultrasound (TAUS)

Transabdominal Ultrasound (TAUS)

Ultrasound is an imaging modality that has been in clinical use for approximately 50 years.  Although ultrasound technology can be utilised in a variety of different body areas, the focus of this feature will be on transabdominal ultrasound, the organs it images, indications and a bit about the technique.

At Harmonic Medical Sonography the bulk of our NHS patients are referred for a Transabdominal Ultrasound. It is a non-invasive scanning technique that visualises the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, small and large intestine, appendix, bladder, uterus, adnexa, spleen, stomach, aorta, and inferior vena cava. In the setting of obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), the transabdominal approach is usually performed to evaluate for possible pelvic pathology or pregnancy in a less invasive manner.

Common indications for Transabdominal Ultrasound:

Abdominal Pain

Right Upper Quadrant: Evaluation for free fluid, gallstones, gallstones in bile duct, liver masses, kidney swelling by build up or urine.
Right Lower Quadrant: Evaluation for appendicitis, intestine blockages, pus collections.
Left Upper Quadrant: Evaluation for free fluid, spleen (laceration or fracture), stomach, kidney swelling.
Left Lower Quadrant: Evaluation for intestine infection, small bowel obstructions.
Epigastric: Evaluation for pancreatic mass, abdominal aortic aneurysm
Pelvic: Evaluation for free fluid, urinary retention, pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic masses.

Blunt or Penetrating Abdominal Trauma
  • Evaluation of free fluid.
Vaginal Bleeding
  • Evaluation for pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, uterine pathology, abortion.
Hypotension (Low blood pressure)
  • Evaluation for infectious sources, vascular assessment of inferior vena cava to evaluate possibilities of haemorrhage, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
Hematuria (blood in urine)
  • Evaluation for masses within the genital and urinary organs, kidney stones, kidney swelling
    Source: NCBI

Transabdominal ultrasound, like most diagnostic ultrasound applications, is associated with little if any risk. When undergoing a transabdominal scan at our clinics our sonographers are trained to talk you through the examination and make your experience as comfortable as possible.

It is an inexpensive, safe and rapid way of assessing for multiple pathologies. It can be used to effectively rule in or out specific pathologies such as inflammation without the need for further imaging in many cases. This can lead to expedited diagnosis, treatment, and a reduction in ionizing radiation as experienced in other types of scans.

Please do not hesitate to contact our patient administration team for any queries you may have regarding your transabdominal ultrasound.

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