Kidney ultrasound

Also called: renal ultrasound

A kidney ultrasound is used to determine the size, shape and location of the kidneys without cutting the skin. A kidney ultrasound makes it possible to see the kidneys from outside the body by using ultrasonic waves.

Before a kidney ultrasound, clear gel is put on the skin over the kidneys so the ultrasound tool moves smoothly and there is no air between the skin and the tool. When the ultrasound tool is placed on the abdomen, the ultrasonic waves go through the skin and bounce off the organs. This creates an electronic image of the organs.

A kidney ultrasound may be helpful in detecting cysts, tumors, obstructions, abscesses, fluid collection or infection in the kidneys. Kidney stones can also be seen in an ultrasound. A kidney ultrasound may be used to examine a transplanted kidney or to assist a doctor with locating the kidneys for a kidney biopsy.

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