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Aortic Ultrasound/Sonogram

About this Test

The aorta is the main artery that exits the heart and extends down into your belly. Pictures of this artery are taken with sound waves, not x-rays.

Why this Test is Done

  • You may have a complaint of belly pain or low back pain.
  • Your doctor may have felt a pulsation in your belly during a physical exam.
  • Your doctor may have felt an enlargement of this artery on a physical exam; the sonogram will check the size of the blood vessel.

Before the Test

You may not eat or drink anything for 8-10 hours before the test. Food in your stomach or intestine could block the view of the aorta.

During the Test

You will be asked to lie on an exam table. Warm gel is applied to your abdomen which helps to optimize the images. Pictures will be seen on a computer screen during the exam.

After the Test

You may be asked to wait while the images are reviewed. There are no further restrictions. You may resume your regular diet.

Test Results

The pictures are reviewed by the radiologist and the results are sent to your doctor. The results cannot be given to you by the sonographer administering the test.

If you have any questions, call your physician or call the UPMC Hamot Ultrasound Department at 814-877-2258.

If you cannot keep your appointment, please call our scheduling department at 814-877-6123 to reschedule.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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