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Brief introduction of renal ultrasound
A renal ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive examination that is commonly used by pediatric urologists to diagnose problems in the kidneys, ureters or bladder of children. They are ideal for babies and children because they are painless and radiation free. Ultrasound technology uses high frequency sound waves to create images that show the movement of internal organs and blood flow.
These images reveal things such as the following:
Cyst or mass
Blocking or swelling (called hydronephrosis)
The test takes 15 minutes to 1 hour. Your child's doctor checks the image, and the length of time it takes to receive the results and discuss them with you depends on several factors:
How to communicate the results (fax, email or email)
Urgency of the situation
Do you need a radiologist to provide more information to explain the results?
Are there other tests that need to be compared with ultrasound results?
What can you expect?
Your child should go to IU Health's Riley for a full bladder kidney ultrasound. Fluids are encouraged as long as they are not sparkling beverages that can be filled with gas or stomach. Any drug can be consumed with a clear liquid prior to testing. Ideally, it is best for children to wear comfortable clothes so that the lower abdomen is easily accessible.
Your child is placed face up on the ultrasound table before the ultrasound starts. We prepare for his or her ultrasound by applying a warm, water-based gel to the skin of the lower abdomen. Ultrasound technologists slide a handheld device called a transducer in this area. Your child may be required to enter certain positions throughout the test.
The most difficult part of a child's ultrasound is to remain stationary at some point, which is necessary to get a clearer picture. Our technicians work with children and babies every day, and we know they may need to trick them through this experience.
Parents and caregivers are welcome to bring their favorite toys, hold the child's hand or talk to them during the exam. Each test room has a TV that can help your child.
Points to remember
Pediatric urologists use kidney ultrasound studies to look for problems in the urinary tract.
Ultrasound is a safe, painless technique that does not expose your child to radiation.
It is important to have your child take the test under the full bladder.
Your child's exam time is 15 minutes to 1 hour.
Parents and caregivers are welcome to help your child with an ultrasound of the kidneys.