A test that uses sound waves to study the renal system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and ureters 

PARTS OF THE BODY INVOLVED

  • Kidneys
  • Bladder
  • Ureters
  • Abdomen
  • Back

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)

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

During Procedure – sound-conducting jelly, ultrasound transducer, video screen

Anesthesia – None

Description of the Procedure - This procedure can be done in an examination room in a doctor's office or in a hospital room. You lie on a table and the doctor applies a sound-conducting jelly to 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, which bounce off the internal organs and echo back to the transducer. The echoes are converted to images that are displayed on a screen. The doctor examines the images on the screen and may make a photograph for further assessment.

After Procedure – A radiologist examines the ultrasound image for abnormal masses or blockages

How Long Will It Take? 30-45 minutes

Will It Hurt? Ultrasound is a painless procedure

Possible Complications – None

Average Hospital Stay – None

Postoperative Care – There is no special postoperative care

OUTCOME

If the doctor or radiologist detects an abnormal mass or obstruction, additional tests will be done to determine the exact problem and cause.

CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING OCCURS

There are usually no reported complications after this procedure

SOURCE:

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

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