Ultrasound diagnosed kidney masses
Ultrasound waves bouncing off a solid mass or a fluid filled mass in a kidney look very different. In some cases the radiographer can determine if the mass is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
If your consultant suspects you may have a tumour in your kidney, they may refer you for an ultrasound scan.
An ultrasound scan uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the interior of the human body. These images are displayed on a TV monitor and can then be stored electronically.
The scanner uses the same technology as the sonar used by ships. During your scan a probe is passed over an area of your body. The sound waves bounce off internal organs and are passed back through the microphone to a computer. The computer turns these sound waves into images that are displayed on a monitor.
What happens during ultrasound scanning?
An ultrasound scan is painless. Depending on what area of the body is being scanned this procedure can take from 15 to 30 minutes. A Consultant Radiographer or Sonographer (someone trained to do ultrasounds) will perform the scan and a healthcare assistant will be in the room to assist you and the consultant.
A clear gel will be spread on the area to be scanned. This gel helps to transmit the sound waves to the probe. The probe is pressed onto your skin and moved it back and forth over the area being scanned. The scan will appear on the monitor. Although ultrasound images can be very difficult to read and interpret, you are welcome to view the images during the scan. You may be asked to take deep breaths or to move into different positions to get different images.
If you have any questions or concerns about your particular scan or preparation for your scan, be sure to call us using the number on your appointment letter.
Your ultrasound results will give your consultant a better idea of what type of mass you have in your kidney.