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Renal Ultrasound

Renal Ultrasound Diagnostic Procedure

A renal ultrasound procedure is when an ultrasound technician or doctor uses the ultrasound machine to image the kidneys. Medical imaging studies are performed for many reasons, including diagnosis and management of kidney disease, as well as monitoring the patient’s progress after surgery.

Renal ultrasound procedures educate doctors about the patient's kidneys and bladder. The procedure can be used to identify a kidney mass, to check for signs of enlargement or to identify other problems with the kidneys or urinary tract. This technology is also used for ultrasound-guided medical procedures.

The renal ultrasound procedure is painless, causing no discomfort to the patient. It is performed as an outpatient procedure. At times, a physician may perform a physical exam before the renal ultrasound begins.

Before the technician begins the renal ultrasound, a conductive gel is applied to the patient's abdomen. The technician then uses an ultrasound transducer to get an image of the kidneys and bladder on the monitoring screen. The technician is encouraged to point out anatomical structures of interest to the patient and answer questions. The technician may save specific images from the procedure for the doctor to review.

After the renal ultrasound procedure is completed, the doctor studies the results and discusses them with the patient. Depending on the reason for the ultrasound, the may take a few days before discussing findings with the patient.