What is this scan for?
The pancreas is part of the digestive system, which breaks down our food. The pancreas also produces hormones including insulin which helps to regulate blood sugar.
Pain in the abdomen could be a sign of pancreatitis, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, or pancreas enzyme insufficiency occurs when the pancreas produces too few enzymes. This means that protein, fat and carbohydrates cannot be broken down effectively, resulting in malnutrition and weight loss.
What does this scan show?
The scan shows visible problems with the pancreas that indicate poor function, for example inflammation which could be a symptom of as pancreatitis.
The Ultrasound Scan Procedure
Ultrasound is safe, non-invasive and does not use ionizing radiation. During the ultrasound scan the sonographer will place a warm water-based gel on the area to be examined, and will then press firmly on the skin with an ultrasound probe, moving it around until they have obtained the desired images. The ultrasound scan has no known risks and is usually pain free. When the scan is completed the gel can be wiped off easily using tissue.