A renal artery ultrasound is a diagnostic test that evaluates the flow of blood in the arteries that support your kidneys.
At Chinatown Cardiology, with five New York City locations, our providers offer renal artery ultrasounds in-office to evaluate your kidney function and diagnose a range of underlying kidney conditions.
We also ensure you know what to expect before, during, and after this diagnostic test.
An overview of a renal artery ultrasound
A renal artery ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of your kidneys and nearby blood vessels. The sound waves bounce off the tissues in your body and generate a visual image of your kidneys and blood vessels on an external monitor. This type of ultrasound is noninvasive.
Before the ultrasound, you’re asked to lie down comfortably on an exam table while our team positions the ultrasound transducer over your kidneys. We apply a gel to your skin that helps the transducer move without friction.
At times during your ultrasound, you may need to move into certain positions or hold your breath, so our team can get the clearest images of your kidneys.
You may experience some discomfort during the test because, in some cases, you need a full bladder for testing. Pressing on a full bladder can be uncomfortable but shouldn’t be painful.
Why you might need a renal artery ultrasound
A renal artery ultrasound is often part of diagnostic testing for conditions that affect your kidneys. Our team may recommend this test if you have symptoms of a blockage in the renal arteries, the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your kidneys.
You may also need a renal artery ultrasound to determine if there’s narrowing in your renal arteries, a condition known as renal artery stenosis. This narrowing can result from aging or fat buildup in the vessel.
Since your kidneys are vital for removing toxins and excess fluids from your body, any dysfunction in the organs or the surrounding blood vessels can lead to:
- Heart failure
- Loss of kidney function
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
In addition to aging, smoking and having diabetes can also increase your risk for renal artery stenosis and other kidney-related conditions.
What to expect after your renal artery ultrasound
Since a renal artery ultrasound is noninvasive, you won’t need to schedule any downtime for your recovery. Most people return to their usual activities right away without limitations. Also, you can resume your normal diet.
Our team reviews the results of your ultrasound. If there’s an indication of a blockage or narrowing in your renal arteries, we can discuss your options for additional diagnostic testing or treatment.
Depending on the condition identified by your renal artery ultrasound, you might need to make lifestyle changes, take medications, or undergo surgery.
To learn more about the diagnostic benefits of a renal artery ultrasound, call one of the convenient Chinatown Cardiology locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, or book your appointment online today.