Ultrasound is an imaging technique used to visualize organs and structures in the body using sound waves. A renal ultrasound focuses on the kidneys. It may be used to evaluate for the presence of fluid, stones or cysts, masses or other abnormalities.

How do I prepare for the exam?

For an ultrasound of the kidneys only, drink several glasses of water so the kidneys are well hydrated for the exam.

For an ultrasound of the bladder, the bladder must be full. Drink two to three glasses of water prior to exam without urinating.

What can I expect during the exam?

This exam is conducted by a specially trained and accredited ultrasound technologist.

The patient will lie on an exam table. The abdomen will be exposed, and towels will be placed over the patient's clothing to protect them from the ultrasound gel. Ultrasound gel will be applied to the area for scanning.

The technologist will place a transducer (or probe) over the gel and move it over the surface of the abdomen, sometimes applying varying degrees of pressure. Patients may be asked to hold their breath, or roll from side to side during the exam.

The exam will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes.

What can I expect after the exam?

You will be able to resume normal activities upon your release.

All exams are reviewed by a radiologist, and a report will be sent to your ordering physician.

Please note that while the images are available for immediate viewing, the ultrasound technologist is not permitted to give results of your test during the exam. Only a Radiologist or trained physician is permitted to interpret the exam images.