After drinking 24-30 oz of water, you will be asked to change out of your street clothes and into a hospital gown.
In the exam room, you will be asked to lie down on your stomach on a padded table. Your doctor will use a hand-held device known as a transducer, which directs high-frequency sound waves into the tissue being studied. After the area is gelled (gel helps conduct the ultrasound waves), the transducer is placed against the skin of your lower back for imaging.
As the sound waves echo off the kidney tissue, the transducer sends data to a computer that records the feedback and creates images. You may be asked to hold your breath for several seconds as images are being taken. Additionally, if the bladder is being examined as well, you may be asked to empty your bladder after images of the full bladder are taken.
This procedure usually takes about 30 minutes. Unless further testing is needed, most individuals are free to resume daily activities after their ultrasound.
After your appointment, a radiologist will review the images produced by the exam. They will then present their findings to your health care provider, who will pass on the results to you. This may take 1-3 business days, depending on the clinic.