How do I prepare for a kidney ultrasound?

The preparation for this test will depend on the type of ultrasound procedure your healthcare provider has ordered. Some things you might need to do to get ready for your ultrasound could include:

  • Drinking a quart of water before the test to obtain better images.
  • Eating a fat-free dinner the night before the test.
  • Fasting (limiting or avoiding food for a period of time).

In some cases, you may not need to do anything before your ultrasound. Your healthcare provider will let you know exactly what you need to do before the test. If you have any questions leading up to your ultrasound appointment, call your provider’s office to learn more about how to prepare.

What happens on the day of my kidney ultrasound?

Unless told otherwise by your healthcare provider before the ultrasound, you can eat or drink as normal on the day of your test. If your provider needs a post void of your bladder, you’ll be required to drink 30 ounces of water an hour before the exam and not use the restroom until after the ultrasound.

Your ultrasound test will be performed by a registered, specially trained, technologist and interpreted (read) by a board-certified radiologist.

What happens during the kidney ultrasound?

During the kidney ultrasound, you will be asked to lie on a padded examining table. The provider performing the ultrasound will apply a warm, water-soluble gel to your skin over the area that’s being examined. This gel won’t harm your skin or stain your clothes. A probe is then gently applied against your skin. You may be asked to hold your breath several times or roll on your side during the test. Typically, the ultrasound will take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

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