Ultrasound scans are used for primarily diagnostic reasons, such as checking on pregnancy or inspecting the body for suspected tumors or other issues. An ultrasound is a simple outpatient procedure, but the following tips can help it go much more smoothly.

1. Check Food and Drink Restrictions

Food and drink restrictions vary greatly depending on the type of ultrasound and the parts of the body being scanned. For some ultrasounds, particularly those in or near the digestive system, there may be a required fasting period so that there is no food in the digestive tract to interfere with the imaging. Conversely, some ultrasounds require that you are fully hydrated with a full bladder for the best image. Always check with the doctor and ultrasound center ahead of time so you can be sure of the restrictions.

2. Skip the Accessories

Don't wear any jewelry to the ultrasound, and avoid unnecessary accessories like belts. Although an ultrasound isn't like other scans where metal jewelry can pose an issue, jewelry can interfere with the imaging depending on the location. Since a tech may require that you remove accessories anyway, you can save time and effort simply by leaving them at home in the first place. 

3. Wear Loose Clothing

Depending on the technician and the part begin scanned, you may need to remove clothing and put on a hospital gown. In some cases, you may be able to remain dressed, but you may need to move clothing out of the way. For this reason, loose clothing that can easily be adjusted or taken off is a must. Consider loose-front button shirts and pants with elastic waistbands. 

4. Inform the Tech of Limitations

If you have any physical limitations, make sure the ultrasound tech is aware of them. Spinal injuries, arthritis, and other mobility issues that can prevent you from laying down in the manner necessary for imaging needs to be addressed before the scan begins. This way the technician can arrange exam tables and chairs in positions and with pillows to allow for the most comfort while still getting the necessary images.

5. Advise of Allergies

If you have allergies, particularly to latex or alcohol, the technician must know before beginning the examination. This way they can be sure to use supplies that do not have the offending allergens, such as alcohol-free sanitizers or latex-free exam gloves. 

Contact your doctor to learn more about your upcoming ultrasound scan.