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Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves and their echoes to make cross-sectional images of the inside of your child's body.
The Department of Radiology's Ultrasound program is designed, equipped and staffed to obtain high-quality ultrasound images of infants and children of any size who have a variety of medical and surgical conditions. Our program features:
Most ultrasound studies require no special preparation. However, some exams do require special preparation, such as an empty stomach or full bladder. The examinations that require preparation are listed below. If these guidelines are not followed, your child's examination may be delayed:
Less than 1 year old
No feedings for two hours prior to the exam
1-4 years old
Nothing to eat or drink for four hours prior to the exam
Over 5 years old
Nothing to eat or drink for six hours prior to the exam (the last meal should be a low fat meal)
Less than 3 Years old
3-6 years old
8 to 16 oz of water finished 30 minutes prior to exam time
7-11 years old
24 oz of water finished 45 minutes prior to exam time
Over 12 years old
32 oz of water finished 45 minutes prior to exam time
Follow the same instructions as for an abdominal and pelvic ultrasound above. We ask that you drink water only.
Generally, no preparation is required. However, if symptoms include hematuria (blood in the urine), we will want to scan your child with a full bladder. Fluids should be encouraged in this situation and your child should not empty his bladder prior to his exam. Follow pelvic ultrasound preparation above. If symptoms include Hypertension, this examination requires an empty stomach. Please follow the abdominal preparation.
When you arrive, please go to the Ultrasound check-in desk on the second floor of the main hospital or the Radiology check-in desk at our Waltham, Lexington, Peabody, or South Weymouth facilities. An ambulatory service representative will check in your child and verify his registration information.
Depending on the examination, scanning takes between 20 and 40 minutes.
Ultrasound is painless.
The radiologist reviews your child's images and creates a written report of the findings and diagnosis.
The radiologist will provide a report to the doctor who ordered your child's ultrasound.
Department of Radiology
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