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All You Need to Know About Kidney (Renal) Ultrasound

Ultrasound Scans
Kidney Renal Ultrasound Scan
Kidneys are bean-shaped organs that perform multiple important roles in your body’s function. There are multiple conditions and diseases associated with kidneys. When you experience some specific symptoms or signs indicating kidney health issues, your healthcare provider may order a kidney ultrasound. Doctors use imaging techniques to evaluate the function of kidneys. This article will help you learn more about Kidney Ultrasound.

What is a Kidney Ultrasound?

A kidney ultrasound also known as renal ultrasound is a non-invasive and modern imaging technique that uses sound waves to create images. It is a pain-free diagnostic method that is performed to evaluate the function of your kidneys. When a transducer is pressed against the skin around your kidneys, the sound waves travel inside the body and produce images of organs.  When doctors suspect a condition or disease associated with kidneys, they perform an ultrasound to determine the causing factor. It does not cause any harm or side effects as it does not use radiation. Unlike X-rays or other diagnostic procedures, it does not cause dizziness or other potential adverse effects.

Why a Kidney Ultrasound is Done?

An ultrasound provides detailed and clear images of internal body structures. If kidneys function abnormally, a kidney ultrasound can be evaluated. According to NCBI, it helps in the assessment of kidneys:
  • The size of the kidneys
  • The location of the kidneys
  • Blood flow to the kidneys
  • The shape of the kidneys
An ultrasound also evaluates the other internal structures, like the urinary tract and bladder. Doctors also determine fluid collection, cysts, and tumors by performing an ultrasound. The most common causing factor of kidney pain is stones. Kidney stones can cause pain or other symptoms. When your doctor suspects kidney stones, you need to have an ultrasound to ensure that there are stones in your kidneys and evaluate their size. To perform other diagnostic procedures, your doctor may perform a kidney ultrasound. It can help to perform biopsies, to remove kidney stones, and to transplant the kidneys. Performing an ultrasound helps in locating the needle during a biopsy and aids in getting the tissue sample. This tissue sample was then sent for further tests to the lab.

How to Prepare for a Kidney Ultrasound?

Healthcare providers suggest drinking plenty of water before an ultrasound. Do you know why? Because a filled bladder gives clear images. For some specific types of ultrasound, you may need to fast for a few hours, but it depends on the reason and area of your body. For example, you may need to fast for scanning arteries in your kidneys. A fat meal the night before an ultrasound can cause interference with your reports. Because it is not easy to digest and can cause trouble while performing an ultrasound. 

What are the Potential Side Effects of Kidney Ultrasound?

Kidney ultrasound uses sound waves that do not cause any dangerous effects on your body. No one has countered its adverse effects till now. Unlike other techniques, it does not include harmful radiation. There is a limitation of these sound waves that bring no harm to your health. However, experts at Kidney Ultrasound Glasgow suggest avoiding having too many ultrasounds without any reason. 


A kidney ultrasound is a quick and painless diagnostic technique that can take 20 to 30 minutes. When your doctor suspects a kidney disease or a condition like kidney stones, an ultrasound is performed to get a detailed internal imaging test. It helps healthcare providers to evaluate the internal structure and kidney functions. An ultrasound is also done to perform other procedures, such as biopsies, kidney stone removal, kidney transplant, etc.

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