Renal tract ultrasound

A renal tract ultrasound is a painless scan to provide imaging of the renal tract. An ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to create images of the internal structures. This is the same scan that is used on pregnant women. The renal tract consists of the kidney, ureters and bladder.

You can be referred for a renal tract ultrasound because your doctor believes that you have a problem with one part of the renal tract. The scan can help to show:

  • Cysts, growths and tumours
  • Blockages in the urinary tract
  • Kidney or bladder stones
  • Signs of kidney inflammation
  • Assessment of renal tract injury (such as after a road traffic accident)

Unlike surgical procedures, you do not usually have to do anything before the renal tract ultrasound. This means that you can drink and eat normally on the day of the scan. You may be advised to drink plenty of fluid before and you may also be asked not to empty your bladder so that good bladder images can be obtained. There are no risks associated with an ultrasound scan.

A sonographer or radiologist will apply gel onto the abdomen area and move the transducer across your skin to collect images of the renal tract below the skin level. The scan usually takes 20-30 minutes.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team about having a renal tract ultrasound or would like to have a second opinion on results that you have previously had, please email us at or call us on 07921 874889.

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