A kidney ultrasound is a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to assess the size, shape, and location of the kidneys. Ultrasound technology allows quick visualization of the kidneys and related structures from outside the body. Ultrasound may also be used to assess blood flow to the kidneys.
A kidney ultrasound uses a handheld probe called a transducer that sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed on the abdomen at certain locations and angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the organs and structures of the abdomen. The sound waves bounce off the organs like an echo and return to the transducer. The transducer picks up the reflected waves, which are then converted into an electronic picture of the organs.
Different types of body tissues affect the speed at which sound waves travel. Sound travels the fastest through bone tissue, and moves most slowly through air. The speed at which the sound waves are returned to the transducer, as well as how much of the sound wave returns, is translated by the transducer as different types of tissue.
Prior to the procedure, clear, water-based gel is applied to the skin to allow for smooth movement of the transducer over the skin and to eliminate air between the skin and the transducer.
By using an additional mode of ultrasound technology during an ultrasound procedure, blood flow to the kidney can be assessed. An ultrasound transducer capable of assessing blood flow contains a Doppler probe. The Doppler probe within the transducer evaluates the velocity and direction of blood flow in the vessel by making the sound waves audible. The degree of loudness of the audible sound waves indicates the rate of blood
flow within a blood vessel. Absence or faintness of these sounds may indicate an obstruction of blood flow.
Diagnostic Imaging Services offers ultrasound exams at all of our locations. We are accredited by the American College of Radiology in ultrasound, meeting or exceeding their requirements for safety, quality, equipment and reporting. All DIS ultrasound technologists are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Call 504-883-5999 or 985-641-2390 to schedule a visit to DIS or click here to submit an online request for an appointment.