Renal Ultrasound: The Importance for Your Kidneys, Ureters & Bladder

When you think of the renal system (or urinary tract), picture it beyond the crucially important function of urine elimination. Instead, picture it as a carefully choreographed ballet of three necessary parts:

  • The kidneys generate urine by filtering wastes and extra water from the blood
  • The ureters (two thin tubes of muscle) transport the urine from the kidneys to the bladder
  • The bladder stores the urine and signals the body when it is time to empty the waste

Keeping this system healthy benefits the entire body. A normally functioning renal system:

  • Prevents the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in the body
  • Stabilizes the levels of electrolytes (such as potassium and phosphate)
  • Makes hormones that help regulate blood pressure
  • Creates red blood cells
  • Maintains strong bones

The importance of renal ultrasound

Certainly, the renal system can function under stress or other challenging conditions. And like other systems in our bodies, it’s both durable and resilient. Still, for the millions of Americans at risk for chronic kidney disease (a condition that weakens the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure), regular testing (from simple blood tests and urine tests to advanced imaging tests) is recommended.

What is renal ultrasound?

This noninvasive diagnostic exam uses sound waves to create images of the kidney(s). Renal ultrasound can assess the size and shape of the kidneys and bladder as well evaluate any abnormal structures seen within each. If the ureters are abnormally enlarged then they can often be in part visualized with ultrasound as well.

When is a renal ultrasound recommended?

When blood or urine tests expose the presence of abnormalities in the renal system, your doctor may recommend a renal ultrasound. In addition to detecting cysts, tumors and stones, ultrasound can:

  • Reveal harmful abscesses, fluid collection, infection within or around the kidneys
  • Help ensure accurate needle placement for biopsy (obtain a tissue sample)
  • Place a drainage tube
  • Drain fluid from a cyst or abscess
  • Determine blood flow to the kidneys through the renal arteries and veins
  • Evaluate a transplanted kidney after surgery

Compassionate, trusted renal ultrasound in Anchorage

Should your doctor order a kidney ultrasound, you may cycle through a mix of emotions. Like many people, you might feel anxious or fearful, and ask, “What will the ultrasound reveal?” “Will I be ok?” or “How do I know the results are accurate?”

For your peace of mind, we staff a team of credentialed, highly skilled sonographers who perform advanced, accurate renal ultrasound in Anchorage, Alaska. You can be confident you’ll receive a precision ultrasound exam, because, during every minute of every day, we strive for a superior standard of care. That means, beyond an accurate exam, we are here to support you, care for you, inform you and listen to you.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 907-561-3601 or click here to use our online form.

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