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East and Central African Journal of Surgery
Association of Surgeons of East Africa and College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa
ISSN: 1024-297X
EISSN: 2073-9990
Vol. 11, No. 1, 2006, pp. 52-56
Bioline Code: js06011
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

East and Central African Journal of Surgery, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2006, pp. 52-56

 en Elective Abdominal Ultrasonography by Surgeons at MNH, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania.
M.M Aboud , C Mkony , M.M.D Wustner

Abstract

Background: Ultrasound scanning (USS) is an important diagnostic tool in most specialties of surgery. The abdomen is the most commonly scanned region and learning and practicing abdominal USS is the most rewarding. This study was aimed at sharing our experience of elective abdominal ultrasound scanning (USS) done by surgeons at the Department of Surgery, Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH).
Methods: This is a retrospective audit of indications and sonographic findings in 1782 elective scannings done over a 42-month period. All scanning was done by surgeons using Aloka SSD 500 scanner with a 3.5 MHz probe. Average patient scanning time was 5-10 minutes.
Results: The most frequent indications for abdominal ultrasound scanning were abdominal pain (27%), urinary tract symptoms (25%) and abdominal swelling / mass (13%). Overall 47 % of all scanned patients and 58% of those with abdominal pain had normal findings. Of all the patients with abnormal USS findings 42% had abdominal mass. Stone disease was infrequent, seen in 49 (2.7% of all scanned) patients.
Conclusion: Pain is the most frequent reason for requesting abdominal ultrasound scanning but it has a low yield of sonographic findings. Scanning for abdominal swelling/mass gave the highest proportion of abnormal findings. USS of a surgical patient done by surgeons expedites diagnostic workup, shortens hospitalization, facilitates biopsy and may help to avoid diagnostic laparotomy.

 
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