Ultrasonography, which is sometimes called sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs as they function, and to assess blood blow through various vessels. Ultrasound procedures are often used to examine many parts of the body such as the abdomen, breasts, female pelvis, prostate, scrotum, thyroid and parathyroid, and the vascular system. During pregnancy, ultrasounds are performed to evaluate the development of the fetus.

Having a successful exam

Ultrasound exams of the pelvic area require that you have a full bladder at the beginning of the exam.  Ultrasound uses sound waves to image parts of the body. A warm gel is applied to the probe and pressed into the skin near the area of interest. You may need to change into a gown or lift, remove clothing covering the skin in the area of interest.

Exam Preparation

Please wear comfortable clothing. Avoid wearing pants with metal snaps, zippers, or belts. If you must, then you will be required to change into a gown prior to the exam.  Certain exams require specific preparation such as refraining from eating or coming with a full bladder.  The SDI scheduler will let you know if you have such a preparation which is essential to obtaining an optimal exam.


  • Complete drinking 32 oz. of water 60 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time
  • DO NOT EMPTY YOUR BLADDER AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED DRINKING THE WATER; it is essential that your bladder is full for the exam.  If you are not prepared at the time of the exam, you may need to be rescheduled.


  • Do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours prior to your exam
  • Eat non-fat foods the evening before your exam


  • Do not eat for 3 hours before your exam
  • Drink 16 oz of water 1 hour before your exam.  Do NOT empty your bladder once you drink the water.


  • No preparation necessary

For all other ultrasounds (including Doppler and arterial studies) please call for preparation instructions