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Kidney & Bladder Ultrasounds

Kidney & Bladder Ultrasounds

A renal or urinary tract ultrasound is used to assess your kidneys and bladder. Other pelvic structures may be assessed during this scan, such as the prostate in men.

A Urinary Tract ultrasound can be used to investigate a number of conditions such as:

  • Causes of pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Hematuria
  • Poor kidney function
  • Trauma
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Incontinence; and other changes in bladder function.

Why should I have a kidney and bladder ultrasound scan?
You may have been referred by your GP, healthcare professional or you have chosen to self-refer. If your doctor has referred you to have a kidney and bladder ultrasound scan, they will be doing so to investigate whether there is a condition within the area. If you have any concerns about issues within the area and would like a diagnostic ultrasound to look further you can also self-refer. You can then take the report and images onwards to complete your care pathway with a doctor or hospital.
What are the risks?
A kidney and bladder ultrasound scan is a very safe procedure with no side effects.

How should I prepare?

You will be required to fill your bladder prior to your appointment. To fill your bladder, please drink
one litre of water before your appointment time. Try not to empty your bladder before the appointment, but please do not go outside of your comfort levels if you no longer can hold your bladder. You may empty a little if this is the case, we just ask you to do your best to hold the liquid.

We ask you to do this as distension (expansion) of your bladder provides a clearer view of the bladder and surrounding structures on the ultrasound machine.

If possible, wear clothing that allows easy access to the abdomen, such as two-piece clothing (separate upper/lower garments).


Your examination will be performed by a sonographer who will introduce themselves, confirm your identity and the procedure you are having. First, a clear gel is applied to the skin on the area to be examined. A device called a transducer is placed on your abdomen to get images of your internal organs and structures. During the ultrasound, you may be asked to hold your breath and move into certain positions to allow a clear view of your organs.

Generally, your bladder is looked at first, and then you will be asked to empty it to make the remainder of examination comfortable.

Your sonographer will guide you through the procedure and then will prepare a detailed report after your scan.


Approximately 30 minutes

Please contact us to discuss your ultrasound needs if you are interested in learning more about a Renal/Urinary Tract Ultrasound.