What you can expect

You’ll experience little or no discomfort during an ultrasound test.

The process of an ultrasound involves the following.

  1. To prepare for the ultrasound test, you’ll be asked to avoid eating or drinking (except for important medication with sips of water) from midnight the night before your test. You should ask your doctor about continuing to take your medications before the examination.
  2. You’ll be asked to lie down flat on a table.
  3. At the beginning of the test, the ultrasound technician will apply a harmless gel to the skin over the arteries that will be examined to help the sound waves transmit into your body.
  4. The ultrasound technician will then pass a handheld wand called a transducer over the area of your body being examined, sliding it back and forth. As the transducer moves, it sends information to a computer that produces 2D images that can be recorded and viewed on a screen.
  5. After the test, you’ll be able to get back to your day and resume your regular activities.


There are no known risks associated with a standard ultrasound test.