If you are having an upper abdomen ultrasound, you will need to lie down on an examination table or bed. The ultrasound technologist, known as a sonographer, will place some gel onto your skin to provide better contact between your body and the ultrasound probe. They will then place the hand-held probe on your skin above the area of your body, organ or tissue that is being studied. The two-dimensional (or sometimes three-dimensional) pictures are shown instantly on a monitor.
Other types of ultrasound may need a slightly different procedure. For example, a woman undergoing an investigation of her pelvis may have a transvaginal scan, which involves inserting a special ultrasound probe into the vagina rather than (or as well as) scanning through the front of the pelvis.