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Kidney and Bladder Ultrasound

A kidney and bladder ultrasound, or renal ultrasound, uses high frequency sound waves transmitted through a transducer (probe) to visualize and assess your kidneys, ureters (small muscular tubes that join the kidneys with the bladder) and urinary bladder.

Please inform the sonographer performing your exam if you have had surgery related to one of these organs, if you have a history of kidney stones or if you have stents placed in the ureters or urinary bladder.

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?

  • Take all prescribed medications as directed.
  • Please empty your bladder 90 minutes prior to your appointment, and then drink one litre of water within the next 30 minutes. Finish drinking water one hour before your exam and do not empty your bladder.
  • Please note: Drink water slowly to prevent abdominal discomfort.
  • If you are too uncomfortable, please relieve your bladder of a small amount of urine.
  • Once the test has begun, your sonographer will advise you if you can empty your bladder further or totally. We understand that a full bladder can be uncomfortable.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to check in with reception.
  • Bring photo identification and your provincial health card.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Please don’t bring children that require supervision.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?

  • You may be asked to change into a gown.
  • A warm, non-scented, hypo-allergenic ultrasound gel will be applied to the area being scanned.
  • Your technologist (sonographer) will ask you to lower or arrange your clothing so that the area of concern is exposed to apply gel and scan the area.
  • The sonographer will move the transducer (probe) around the area between your hipbones and below your belly button to take images of your kidneys and bladder.
  • The sonographer will ask you to perform various breathing techniques that aid in obtaining the best images of your organs.
  • You may be asked to lie on your side, sit, or stand to bring your organs into a better position.
  • You may experience mild to moderate pressure while the sonographer takes the images.
  • You will be asked to empty your bladder at the end of the exam and then the sonographer will take more pictures of your bladder to measure the volume of remaining urine.
  • The radiologist will review the images.
  • The radiologist may come into the scan room after your exam to speak to you about your results. You will then be free to leave.

WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?

We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

This exam is covered under the Alberta and Saskatchewan Health Care Plans.

FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Please ensure that you bring your requisition with you to your appointment.

DURATION

25-30 minutes