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Renal (Kidney) Ultrasound/Sonogram

UPMC Content 2

About this Test

Pictures of the kidney are taken with sound waves, not x-rays.

Why this Test is Done

  • You may have a complaint of back pain.
  • You may have seen blood in your urine or your doctor may have found blood in your urine during a routine urine test.
  • You may have a history of kidney disease the doctor is rechecking.

Before the Test

You may eat, drink, and take medications as you usually do.

During the Test

You will be asked to lie on an exam table. Warm gel will be applied to your abdomen which helps to optimize the images. Pictures will be seen on a computer screen during the exam.

After the Test

You may be asked to wait while the images are reviewed.

Test Results

The pictures are reviewed by the radiologist and the results are sent to your doctor. The results cannot be given to you by the sonographer administering the test.

Your doctor may have also ordered a bladder sonogram. This is done to check for abnormalities in the bladder and to check how well your bladder empties.

  • If you are also scheduled for a bladder sonogram, your bladder must be full for the test; drink 24 to 32 ounces (3 to 4 large glasses) of water.
  • Do not use the bathroom to empty your bladder.
  • Please take your medications as you usually do, especially water pills.
  • Pictures will be taken with your bladder full, you will then be asked to use the bathroom to empty your bladder, and more pictures will be taken when your bladder is empty.

If you have any questions, call your physician or call the UPMC Hamot Ultrasound Department at 814-877-2258.

If you cannot keep your appointment, please call our scheduling department at 814-877-6123 to reschedule.