Ultrasound of the Gallbladder (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:00 Let's keep talking about the diagnostic test for a patient with suspected acute cholecystitis.

    00:07 We've talked about the lab work and that is always going to be step one. Right? That's what we're going to look at first as that lab work comes back and we see things that are abnormal, The next thing that will be ordered in the process is likely an ultrasound of the gallbladder.

    00:21 Now, this is the most common tests performed to evaluate gallbladder abnormalities, want to know why? Well, here's what it's got going for it.

    00:30 It's a non-invasive test.

    00:32 Look at the graphic I have for you there.

    00:34 You see that it's a wand, that's about what it involves a wand and some gel.

    00:40 Now it's connected to a very sophisticated machine and is run by someone who is highly educated to do that.

    00:46 But from the patient's perspective, it is non-invasive of simple straightforward test little bit of gel little bit of wand you're good to go.

    00:56 So it's not hard for the patient to undergo one of these tests or even uncomfortable.

    01:01 But what we get our pictures of the gallbladder and the bile ducts.

    01:07 So go ahead and underline that for me, gallbladder and bile ducts.

    01:11 You can see why this would be helpful.

    01:14 We notice that your lab work is abnormal.

    01:17 We've got elevated lab work that tells us...

    01:20 that hepatobiliary duct system is just not draining well, this abdominal ultrasound is going to give us some actual pictures, so inflammation and indications of bile blockage can actually be visualized.

    01:34 That's if the abdomen is normal or if the patient doesn't have some other uncomfortable circumstances.

    01:41 Let me tell you what I mean.

    01:43 If the patient is obese and has a large amount of adipose tissue in their abdominal wall may be difficult to get really clear pictures.

    01:51 Also if the patient has a lot of flatulence in the intestines that they also make it difficult.

    01:58 So what do we do? Well the order CAT scan or an MRI? So this seems like a logical transition.

    02:05 We've looked at lab work.

    02:07 Now, we've talked about an abdominal ultrasound, if that doesn't work or it's not clear either because the patient's abdomen is difficult to visualize.

    02:15 Well, I've got a lot of extra gas in there.

    02:17 Then we go to the next step, a CT scan which you hear us call a CAT scan or an MRI.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Ultrasound of the Gallbladder (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Gallstones and Cholecystitis: Diagnosis (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Noninvasive
    2. Produces pictures of the gallbladder and bile ducts
    3. Indications of inflammation and bile blockage can be visualized
    4. Invasive
    5. Obesity will not make diagnosis difficult with ultrasound machine

    Author of lecture Ultrasound of the Gallbladder (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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