Kidneys are vital organs in our body and they form the excretory system of our body along with the ureters and the urinary bladder. Kidneys are not just the organs that form urine and eliminate toxins through it, but have multiple functions that are vital to keeping our body functioning. Any form of kidney disease can completely disrupt the internal environment of our body.
These bean-shaped organs are located on the ventral side of the abdominal cavity near the waistline. Any injuries, blockages, abnormalities, calculi, infections, or abnormal growth like tumors or cysts affecting the renal system need proper medical evaluation as untreated kidney disease can cause more severe damage to the organs.
Renal ultrasound is the safest way to look for these abnormalities. You can get more renal ultrasound information from experts at Inside Radiology Center located in Sydney, Australia. They have pediatric ultrasound technologies as well and their expert radiologists are trained to perform all forms of diagnostic modalities on adults as well as children.
Important functions that the renal system plays in our body are:
- Prevents the accumulation of toxins and waste products in the body.
- Plays a role in stabilizing phosphate and potassium levels in the body.
- Kidneys secrete the hormone renin that helps in regulating blood pressure.
- Erythropoietin is also secreted by the kidneys under hypoxic conditions to stimulate the production of red blood cells.
- Kidneys also secrete calcitriol, which helps in maintaining calcium levels in the bone.
Renal ultrasound – Procedure
If your doctor is suspecting renal abnormalities based on your symptoms like flank pain or urinary urge, frequency, and burning, you will be referred to a radiologist for getting a renal ultrasound to find the cause behind your symptoms.
In most cases, you will be required to have a full bladder when you show up for the ultrasound appointment. You must avoid eating 2-3 hours before your appointment. Do not urinate within an hour of the appointment and drink at least a liter of water to keep the bladder full.
During the ultrasound, the radiologist will apply warm gel over the right and left upper quadrant of the abdomen. After which a transducer will be moved over the gel. High-frequency sound waves are emitted from the transducer and the gel transmits these waves to the internal organs. When the waves bounce back, the ultrasound machine measures their frequency and combines various frequencies to generate an image of the organs.
The results will be discussed instantly and you might get a report within 48 hours.
Your doctors might prescribe a diagnostic renal ultrasound if they are suspecting any of the following conditions:
- Tumor growth, cysts, or abscess.
- Most people are referred for a renal ultrasound for detecting calculi in the excretory system.
- Impaired blood flow in the kidneys.
- Infection of the renal system.
- Kidney injuries
- Checking the status of transplanted kidneys.
Renal ultrasound is also used during surgical procedures to assess needle placement or draining fluid-filled cysts in the renal system or during the placement of renal tubes. Renal ultrasound is completely painless and safe and is thus, the most recommended procedure for pediatric evaluation of renal diseases.