What is a Renal Ultrasound?
A renal ultrasound is a safe, pain-free test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the bladder, uterus, or kidneys. The main organ the test is viewing is the kidneys. The pictures the ultrasound produces are able to show doctors is there is a cyst, mass, kidney stone or other blockage in the kidney. It not only gives doctors a clear image of the size and shape of your kidneys but also allows for the doctor to see how your blood is flowing to and from the kidneys.
What do my kidneys do exactly?
Everytime you eat your body is seeking the nutrients from the items you consumed. Once your body has taken the nutrients it needs and converted those nutrients to energy the rest of the items you consumed are not waste products. Your kidneys store a balance of chemicals and water which removes waste from the blood. They also regulate the amount of salt and other substances that are in your blood to make sure you have a healthy balance. Kidneys are like filtration units, that aids in the discarding of unneeded items.
Why would I need a Renal Ultrasound?
If you are seeing a nephrologist or if your primary care doctor suspects there may be a problem with your kidneys, you will need regular testing. Luckily, the kidneys are very easy to examine with sound waves. We use the same technique to prepare for uterine fibroid treatment.
Are there any risks involved with getting a renal ultrasound?
Radiation is not a factor involved for a renal ultrasound. There generally isn’t any discomfort during the test. If you do experience any discomfort during the test be sure to let the technologist know. The only risks involved with the test is the factors that can interfere with the test itself. Obesity, intestinal gas, and barum in the intestines can all alter the results of the ultrasound .
What to expect during your exam.
You will begin the procedure by lying on your back on the exam table. The technologist will start by applying a war gel to your abdomen. The tech will then use a transducer which is a small device that has the similar shape of a microphone and move it to various locations on your abdomen. You may be asked to hold your breath for parts of the exam, in order to get a clear view of your organs. The transducer emits sound waves that bounce off the organs, tissue and muscles in your body. The sound waves are bounced back to the transducer which creates images out of the echoes. The images can be seen immediately. The exam itself takes about twenty minutes to perform.
What can I expect after the exam?
Once you have completed the exam, the ultrasound technologist will go over your images. You may resume normal daily activity unless the technologist advises otherwise. Your results will be sent to your physician who will review them and determine next steps.