(Ultrasound, Renal)En Español (Spanish Version)
A test that uses sound waves to study the renal system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and ureters
Reasons for Procedure
- To look for changes in the bladder wall
- To look for changes in the kidney size or structure
- To detect a kidney stone, cyst, mass, or other obstruction in the kidney
- To look for stones in the urinary tract
- To look for changes in the ureters
- To examine the kidneys before performing a renal biopsy (removal of tissue from the kidney for exam)
- To examine the circulatory system of the kidneys (a Doppler ultrasound)
Urinary System with Stones
© 2008 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.
Risk Factors for Complications During the Procedure
Obesity can make this examination more difficult to perform and less accurate.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Your doctor will do a physical exam.
- Avoid carbonated drinks, such as sodas and seltzers.
- You must have a full bladder for the test; do not empty your bladder until after the ultrasound.
Description of the Procedure
This procedure can be done at a doctor's office or hospital. You lie on a table and the doctor applies a sound-conducting jelly on your abdomen over your bladder and kidneys.
The ultrasound machine has a hand-held instrument called a transducer, which looks like a microphone or wand. The transducer is passed over the skin where the jelly was applied. The transducer sends sound waves into the body. The waves bounce off the internal organs and echo back to the transducer. The echoes are converted to images that are shown on a screen. The doctor examines the images on the screen. He may make a photograph for further assessment.
A radiologist examines the ultrasound image for abnormal masses or blockages.
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
If the doctor or radiologist detects an abnormal mass or obstruction, additional tests will be done to determine the exact problem and cause.
National Institutes of Health
National Kidney Foundation
BC Health Guide
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Imaging of the urinary tract. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/pdf/ImagingUrinaryTract.pdf. Accessed June 18, 2008.
Last reviewed October 2007 by Daus Mahnke, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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