Abdominal ultrasound

This is a checkup involving medical imaging. It is used to examine internal organs in the abdomen, like the liver, the gallbladder, the spleen, the pancreas and the kidneys. The blood vessels running across some of these organs can also be examined by ultrasound. The machine sends out high-frequency sound waves reflected by the body structures. A computer receives these waves and uses them to create an image. Unlike X-rays or computerized tomographs, this test does not expose you to ionizing radiation.

You can submit to this test to:

  • Discover the cause of an abdominal pain
  • Find the cause for urinary infections
  • Diagnose a hernia
  • Diagnose and monitor tumors and cancers
  • Diagnose or treat ascites
  • Learn the reason behind the swelling of an abdominal organ
  • Look for damage after an injury
  • Look for stones in the gallbladder or the kidneys
  • Look for the cause of abnormal blood tests, like liver function tests or kidney function tests
  • Look for the cause of a fever


This is an examination of the beginning of the alimentary canal (esophagus, stomach and first part of the duodenum) performed by a gastroscope, an instrument with the form of a large and flexible tube of optical fibre, connected to a camera and a light source. Inserted into the mouth, it allows an examination with a direct view of the injuries inside the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, as well as taking tissue samples if necessary.

In general, it is useful with the investigation of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Pain and burning sensation behind the sternum (heartburn)
  • Bad digestion and an upset stomach
  • Pain or burning in the stomach
  • Digestive bleeding
  • Loss of appetite and weight


This is an examination in which the inside of the colon (large intestine) and the rectum are visualized through an instrument called colonoscope.

Colonoscopy can be used for the following reasons:

  • Abdominal pain, changes of the stools or weight loss
  • Abnormal changes (like polyps) found in a sigmoidoscopy or in radiographic examinations (computerized tomography or barium enema)
  • Anemia due to low iron level (usually if no other cause has been found)
  • Blood in the stools or black or tarry stools
  • Follow-up of a previous diagnose, like polyps or colon cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
  • Screening examinations for bowel cancer