Renal (Kidney) Ultrasound

Renal (Kidney) Ultrasound

Ultrasound Procedures

A renal or kidney ultrasound is a diagnostic exam used to diagnose kidney and urinary bladder problems. This type of diagnostic ultrasound allows doctors to assess the anatomy of your kidneys and look for abnormalities, check bladder capacity and ability to empty it completely. The results of the exam help your doctor understand your condition and choose the most effective treatment plan.

At Cayman Islands Surgery Center, we accept referrals for kidney ultrasounds for Cayman Islands residents and visitors. The accredited ultrasound laboratory at our facility is fully equipped with state-of-the-art ultrasound technology for accurate imaging.

What Is a Renal Ultrasound?

What Is a Renal Ultrasound?

Patients with lower back and flank pain often need a kidney ultrasound to rule out kidney stones and other kidney diseases. During a kidney ultrasound, we are looking for changes in the shape, size or location of the kidneys, as well as abnormalities in blood flow or unusual masses. More specifically, an ultrasound of the kidneys can detect:

  • Cysts and tumors
  • Stones
  • Changes due to infections
  • Obstructions
  • Fluid collection

Common problem for men over 50 years old is prostate enlargement. If male patients have problems with emptying the bladder, a renal ultrasound can investigate the bladder capacity and ability to empty it completely. Moreover, a renal ultrasound can be a part of a comprehensive prostate assessment which includes a transrectal (internal) prostate ultrasound and exam as well. The technologists can measure the prostate volume on a transabdominal prostate exam. The normal prostate volume should be no more than 20 cc. Based on known prostate volume, radiologists are calculating the predicted PSA (prostate specific antigen). The amount of PSA may be higher in men who have prostate cancer. In situations when the predicted PSA is lower than the PSA in the blood test the suspicion for prostate cancer is higher, and further investigations are necessary. A transrectal prostate ultrasound and possibly a prostate biopsy are usually considered.

Preparing for Renal Ultrasound and what to expect during the exam

Proper preparation is a critical point in your renal ultrasound. Your urinary bladder should be full for this exam. You should finish drinking 32 ounces (four glasses) of water one hour before your examination time. Please, keep your bladder full till the ultrasound. After the sonographer assesses and measures your bladder they let you empty it completely and measure again in order to see your ability to empty it.

Preparing for Renal Ultrasound and what to expect during the exam
After Your Kidney Ultrasound Exam

After Your Kidney Ultrasound Exam

The radiologist will make a written report and forward it to your referring doctor in two business days. Your doctor will call you to discuss the results, usually within two-three days. In an emergency, results are available in 2 hours.


Renal Ultrasound

What does “renal'' mean?

The term "renal" refers to the kidney.

Why do I need a renal ultrasound?

Your doctor will order a renal ultrasound exam if you have symptoms or signs that may indicate kidney or urinary bladder disease. A renal ultrasound is one of the quickest and least invasive ways to assess kidney health and functioning.

What can cause flank pain?

The most common causes of  flank pain  are kidney stones, kidney infections, kidney trauma, spinal problems, such as pinched nerves.

Can a renal ultrasound detect kidney stones?

Kidney stones can be detected via ultrasound. Ultrasound is the modality of choice for pregnant patients with flank pain. Sometimes, CT scan,and urine tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Does renal ultrasound help to diagnose UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)?

UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than are men since their urethra is shorter. Infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to your kidneys.Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate even when the bladder is empty
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Passing urine that appears cloudy
  • Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone

A UTI is generally diagnosed with a urine test and culture, but ultrasound helps detect if there is an anatomical reason for a UTI (stone, narrowing), and in rare occasions it can also distinguish if the urge to urinate and passing a small amount of urine is due to the inability to urinate or because of a UTI.

Are there any risks with a renal ultrasound?

A renal ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses sound waves, so there is no risk associated since no radiation is used.

Make an Appointment for Ultrasound

To make an appointment for an ultrasound or request pricing, please call our office today at +1 345 939 1282 or +1 345 946 0067. You can email your doctor’s referral form to Please don’t forget to provide your phone number. We will contact you to make an appointment. If you do not have a doctor's referral you should get one during your next visit.

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