At Fairbanks Urology you may be asked to undergo a kidney ultrasound to examine your kidneys.
The kidneys are 2, fist-sized organs found on either side of your mid-section ("retroperitoneum"). The kidneys remove waste from the blood and make urine. They also balance salts ("electrolytes") in the body, such as sodium and potassium. Hormones that control blood pressure and red blood cell production are also made in the kidneys.
Renal ultrasound studies can show the size and position of the kidneys. They can also show if there are:
A kidney ultrasound creates images from sound waves that return from the kidney tissue. Many images are collected to understand problems in the kidney.
If your doctor wants to see how blood flows to and from the kidney, Doppler imaging is used. This is an ultrasound method that makes color images from the movement of flowing blood. It shows the flow of blood through the vessels. It provides excellent motion information not available on a standard sonogram.
No need to fast, prepare your bowel, or have a full bladder. The test is done as you lay on your back on the exam table. A gel is spread on the skin to help transmit the sound waves. The kidneys are imaged by placing the transducer over both sides of the upper belly.