A kidney ultrasound may be used to assess the size, location, and shape of the kidneys and related structures, such as the ureters and bladder. Ultrasound can detect cysts, tumors, abscesses, obstructions, fluid collection, and infection within or around the kidneys. Calculi (stones) of the kidneys and ureters may be detected by ultrasound.
A kidney ultrasound may be performed to assist in placement of needles used to biopsy (obtain a tissue sample) the kidneys, to drain fluid from a cyst or abscess, or to place a drainage tube. This procedure may also be used to determine blood flow to the kidneys through the renal arteries and veins.
EAT/DRINK: Drink a minimum of 24 ounces of clear fluid at least one hour before your appointment. Do not empty your bladder prior to the procedure. Generally, no prior preparation, such as fasting or sedation, is required.
Your physician will explain the procedure to you and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives your permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if something is not clear.
Based upon your medical condition, your physician may request other specific preparation.
A kidney ultrasound may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Although each facility may have different protocols in place, generally an ultrasound procedure follows this process:
While the kidney ultrasound procedure itself causes no pain, having to lie still for the length of the procedure may cause slight discomfort, and the clear gel will feel cool and wet. The technologist will use all possible comfort measures and complete the procedure as quickly as possible to minimize any discomfort.