Preparing For an Ultrasound

While many ultrasound procedures require no preparation for our patients, some do. You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You will need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined. You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.


Other preparation depends on the type of examination you will have. For some scans your doctor may instruct you not to eat or drink for as many as 12 hours before your appointment. For others you may be asked to drink up to six glasses of water two hours prior to your exam and avoid urinating so that your bladder is full when the scan begins.


Each prep helps the technologist get the best possible images for review.

Please see below for specific instructions for each test.

No prep required

  • Breast
  • Carotid Doppler
  • Cranial
  • Testicular
  • Transcranial Doppler
  • Venous Doppler
  • ABIs
  • Non-invasive arterial testing of the arms
  • Groin Doppler
  • Vein mapping

No eating or drinking (including water) after midnight the evening before these tests

  • Abdominal
  • Aorta
  • Liver transplant
  • Mesenteric Doppler
  • Porta-hepatic Doppler
  • Renal arterial Doppler
  • Renal transplant

Water prep for three (3) exams

  • Pelvis or OB ultrasound: One and one-half hours before the exam, start drinking 32 ounces of water (about four cups). Complete drinking water about one hour prior to the scheduled exam. Do not urinate until after the test.
  • Renal ultrasound: Drink plenty of clear liquids the day before the exam. The day of the exam, drink 24 ounces (about three cups) of water. Complete drinking water about 30 minutes prior to the scheduled exam. Do not urinate until after the test.